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BIB. wiAJGft 






** Bi6. MAJOR 



" Extra Ecclesiam Catbolicam totum potest prater salutem. 1 

St. Augustine. 

Ubi PETRUS, ibi Ecclesia." St. Ambrose. 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts 














1. Self-defence not the object of the letter. 2. Motives which impelled 
to an examination of Catholic truth. 3. The struggle with myself in 
coming to the examination. 4. The feelings in which it was under 
taken. 5. What is the essential prerequisite to an examination of 
the question between Catholics and Protestants .... 11 


1. This argued from the fact of man s wants and of God s revelation, 
God s promise and God s provision. 2. Argued from the confidence 
that, under the circumstances, is reasonably expected from man to 
wards God. 3. Ending with a friendly caution .... 29 




1. The case stated. 2. God s revelation to be received in all its parts, 
from the simple fact of its having been made by God. 3. From the 
teaching of God Himself in various examples from His written Word 33 



1 All Christians concur in the belief, that God s Spirit must guide into 
all truth. 2. In what way has God secured to us the guidance of His 
Holy Spirit? 3. It must be a way of universal applicability. 4. It 
must be a way suited especially to the condition of the poor. 5. It 
must be a way calculated to promote " unity in the Faith." 6. In 
all these respects the way of Protestants fails 37 





1. High-Churchmen admit the duty of all to " hear the Church." 
2. They admit this because instructed by the Fathers. 3. But the 
unreasonableness of admitting it in any modified sense. 4. The ap 
plication of the precept " hear the Church," to myself, as a leader, 
and the effect of discovering my inability to teach ... 43 



I. The necessity of the Church s guidance as great now as it ever has 
been. 2. No proof from Scripture or reason that such guidance was 
ever to cease to be infallible. 3. The infallibility of the Church 
rests riot upon the wisdom of man, but the power of God. 4. The 
union of Christ with His body the Church, secures its infallibility. 
5. The testimony of the primitive Fathers in this particular . 60 





1. The testimonies of the Fathers. 2. Christ will not disappoint those 
who have trusted Him 69 



1. This clear, from the Scriptural illustrations of unity. 2. From our 
Lord s prayer for unity. 3. From the uniform testimonies of the 
Fathers. 4. In unity Catholicity necessarily embraced. 5. This 
proved from the Fathers. 6. Application of the argument to Prot 
estantism . 74 





1. An examination, under this head, of the claims of the Church of Eng 
land and America. 2. England virtually disclaims infallibility. 
3. The dreadful consequence 84 




1. The authority of the English Church not Catholic. 2. The conse 
quence, her teaching not Catholic. 3. Her own admissions. 4. An 
inquiry into Anglican inconsistency. 5. The ultimate Catholic tri 
bunal or standard . 87 



I. The reasonableness of this question. 2. Is she to be trusted before 
Oi after the Reformation ? 3. Is she to be trusted under Henry VIII., 
or under Edward VI., or under Mary, or under Elizabeth, or how? 

4. Is she to be trusted as she speaks in her Prayer book, or as she 
speaks in opposition to its plain sense by the Queen s Court? 

5. The necessary confusion and uncertainty under such a system 90 



1. On the principle that we are to hear the Church, to whom are we to 
listen from the time of Augustine to the time of Henry VIII. ? 2. We 
are to hear a speaking Church, not dumb books. 3. Wycliffe a here 
tic according to the faitli of the Anglo-Saxon Church . 97 



1. A test of Mr. Palmer s principle of Reformation by " the authority of 
Catholic Tradition." 2. The absurdity of his principle as applied to 
the facts of the English Reformation. 3. What tradition is. 4. Tra 
dition, to have authority, must be submitted to and trusted. 5. Ori 
gin and source of Tradition. 6. Its perpetuity, as viewed by the 
Fathers. 7. Applied to England. 8. Not derogatory to God s 
Word 102 




1. Why so little is isaid in the New Testament about Church order and 
Sacraments. 2. Tradition necessary to establish infant baptism, the 
necessity of sanctifying the Lord s day,&c. 3. Why so little is found 
in regard to certain points of Catholic faith and practice in the very 
early Church. 4. Nothing added to the fundamental Faith by the 
Church .... 118 



1. The Protestant alleged motive for the Reformation a mere fancy. 
2. The real motive personal to Henry VIII. 3. The resistance of the 
Church in the outset. 4. Her submission through fear. 5. The 
transfer of the whole spiritual jurisdiction from the See of St. Peter 
to the king. 6. Acts of parliament and Protestant testimonies con 
firm this. 7. The king made the living standard of faith as well as 
the source of priestly authority ^ 125 



1. Acts of parliament conclusive. 2. The changes of Queen Mary 
justified on every principle, and effected without a struggle. 3. The 
changes of Elizabeth on every ground unlawful, and forced upon the 
Church against the will of every bishop, the convocation, and the two 
universities. 4. The new system of things passed through parlia 
ment, not only against the vote of every bishop, but also by means of 
imprisoning two bishops, and creating five new Peers . 143 



J. Act of William IV. sufficient. 2. The case of the American Prot 
estant Episcopal Church shown to be the same as that of the Mother 
in England. 3. The entire independence of the American laity. 


. The application of the facts of the case. 5. Who sent Archbishop 
Parker ? Who gave him the faith, the faith of the one Catholic 
Chuich. G. The application of the facts to myself ... 152 






Reflections on the Act of Separation by parliament, 9. Which 
claim of jurisdiction over the Church, that of the king or the Pope, 
most likely, by the rules of common sense, to be well founded ? 
3. The necessity of a head to the body considered. 4. The fact of 
the Pope s present Supremacy considered. 5. The testimony of 
heretics to the Supremacy, either directly or indirectly. 6. A grad 
ual growth of the Papal power not tenable. 7. The Scriptural ar 
gument for the Primacy of St. Peter. 8. The Catholic interpretation 
of St. John i. 35, and St. Matt. xxi. 18, abundantly sustained by the 
Fathers. 9. The authority of St. Peter touching the Faith set forth 
in St. John xxi. 15-17, as interpreted by the Fathers. 10. The 
Scriptural argument applied to myself 158 





The primitive Church affords just such testimony to the claims of St. 
Peter as the circumstances call for. 2. The Apostolic See, accord 
ing to the Fathers, the centre of Catholic unity, the keeper of the 
Catholic Faith, and the source of Catholic authority. 3. Extraordi 
nary assertion of Dr. Wordsworth in his book " Theophilus Angli- 
canus." 4. Shown to be utterly without foundation in every par 
ticular . 179 



1 The extraordinary assertion of Blackstone in reference to the Anglo- 
Saxon Church shown to be false. 2. The Anglo-Saxon Church Cath 
olic, and submissive to the Holy See of Rome. 3. The case of St. 
Augustine considered. 4. The document which puts a speech into 
the mouth of Dinoth against the Supremacy shown to be spurious. 
5. The application of the argument for the Supremacy. 6. The sum 
of the whole matter. 7. A confession and a warning con-cl-Hston 2K5 


Dear Brethren and Friends, 

IT is due both to you and myself, as it is 
more especially to the cause of God, that I yield, 
without loss of time, to the promptings of my heart 
and conscience, and lay before you, as best I can, 
the reasons which have constrained me to take so 
serious, and to many dear ones, as well as to my 
self, so trying a step as that of abandoning the 
position in which I had acted as a Minister of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church for more than thirty 
years, and as a Bishop of the same for more than 
twenty years, and of seeking, at my time of life, 
admission, as a mere layman, into " the Holy Cath 
olic Church," and with no prospect before me 
but simply peace of conscience, and the salvation 
of my soul. 

That for many years I have been more or less 
doubtful of my position as a Protestant, and feel 
ing about me for some surer ground on which to 
stand in view of a judgment to come, is a matter 
too much interwoven in the history of the last few 


years of my Episcopate to be, in any important 
respect, new to you. That, in this state of baffling 
uncertainty, and under the trying circumstances it 
brought with it, I always acted wisely, or with 
perfect consistency, is more than I dare either af 
firm or believe. Rather would I turn from the 
too generally worse than useless task of self-de 
fence, and humbly seek refuge in the compassion 
of Him " "Who hath borne our infirmities," and in 
the forbearance of those who have themselves felt 
the weight of these infirmities, in a doubtful, but 
earnest struggle to find and keep the narrow way 
of life. To the mariner, inured to the peculiar 
hardships of the sea, it will be no cause of wonder 
that one tossed upon the bosom of its treacherous 
waves, now toiling amid conflicting elements, and 
then distracted and deceived by shifting mists, 
should, in making his way to the shore, describe a 
somewhat devious track. Should any of my old 
friends and companions require of me still further 
explanation of seeming inconsistencies, they will 
find it in a too great effort on my part to remain a 
Protestant. Here, commending myself to Him 
who will one day " make the justice of the op 
pressed clear as the light," I take final leave of the 
subject of self-apology, and invite you at once to 
a consideration of the history of my mind in its 
progress to Catholicism. 

And if, in giving it, I should seem to any to 
make too much reference to myself, my plea will 
be found in the nature of the undertaking ; viz., to 


present the train of thoughts and reasonings through 
which my own mind has passed in its progress to a 
certain faith. 

In the outset, let me recall the fact, that for 
years a mysterious influence,, which I could neither 
fully comprehend nor entirely throw off, visited 
my mind, unsettling its peace, and filling it with 
yearnings for something in religion more real than 
I had hitherto experienced.* 

Under such impulses, my thoughts were natu 
rally led beyond the narrow limits of mere Protes 
tant theology to the teachings of early Catholic 
Fathers, and of such as seemed to he based upon 
them in later times. At this period Moehler s Sym 
bolism was put into my hand. I read it, examined 
its statements with care, and laid it down with an 
increased desire to know more fully the system of 
which it had given me, in a spirit of such fairness 
and love, so beautiful an outline. 

Now it was, however, that the progress of my 

* I have here thought it not right to omit a circumstance to which I can 
distinctly trace some of my earliest fears, that something might be wrong in 
respect to what I had received as the facts of Protestantism or the real 
history of the Catholic Faith. Being invited by the University of North Caro 
lina, in the year 18-14, to deliver the introductory Lecture before the Histori 
cal Society of the Institution recently formed, I took for my subject the 
Principles which must govern us in arriving at the facts of History. This led 
me, by way of illustration, to apply these principles to some of the com 
monly-received theories of the English Reformation particularly in regard 
to the real motive of the movement under Henry VIII., and to the real char 
acter of the events under the subsequent Catholic reign of Mary and to rny 
surprise I found in the course of examination, that my own views became 
seriously changed, especially as regarded the latter ; and from the circum 
stance, felt bound at the time to warn my auditory against the common no 
tion ; and ever after, to guard my own mind in. the study of history against 
onesided party representations. 


inquiry received a sudden check. Prostrating 
sickness came, and with it a succession of distract 
ing and embarrassing oppositions to my discovered 
tendency towards Catholicism. 

And here I must be allowed in all honesty, and, 
I trust, with no violation of charity, to say, that 
these oppositions, which were designed, and at first 
seemed likely to arrest this tendency, operated, in 
the end, greatly to increase it, by increasing my 
distrust in the system under which I was acting, as 
they tended to open my eyes more widely to what 
I felt to be its unreasonableness. 

(1.) In the first place, I observed that every at 
tempt to understand and rightly appreciate Catholic 
truth was viewed by Protestants with jealousy, and 
treated with harshness. That, while they prided 
themselves upon the untrammelled exercise of rea 
son in matters of faith, the first effort on the part 
of any of their adherents to apply this reason in 
good earnest to an examination of Catholic doctrine, 
or Catholic institutions, was instantly met by a cry 
of alarm. " This practice is highly dangerous. 
Depend upon it, it will unsettle your faith, wean 
you from your own Church, and give you a lean 
ing towards Catholicism. There is something in 
this so insidious and captivating, that, if you once 
allow it to get the least hold of your mind and 
heart, it is sure to bring you under its dominion." 
And if the practice was not forthwith relinquished, 
they would seek to interpose an effectual bar by 
loading it with suspicion, and exciting against it 


the popular indignation ; thus often forcing per 
sons who might not have the nerve, for the sake of 
truth and peace, to face desertion, ignominy, and 
perhaps starvation, to stifle their convictions, com 
promise their consciences, and consent, for a time 
at least, to stumble on amidst the obscurities and 
miseries of an uncertain faith. This struck me as 
being so inconsistent with the Protestant principle, 
that a free and thorough application of each mind 
to the great question, " What is truth ? " is essen 
tial to its solution, as to lead me to suspect more 
reasonableness and force in Catholic teaching than 
my education and position had hitherto permitted 
me to see. For I could not well conceive how, 
on such a vital question as that between Catholics 
and Protestants, any practice which might con 
tribute to the fullest investigation should be " dan 
gerous " to any thing but error. If the mind be 
capable of the investigation at all, it must be, I 
thought, to the fullest extent. At any rate, that 
it would be exceedingly unfair to oblige it to come 
to a conclusion, or to abide in one, without being 
allowed an opportunity to examine both sides of 
the question, the consideration of which might be 
necessary to render that conclusion safe. Hence I 
began seriously to fear that " the danger " appre 
hended from a thorough knowledge of Catholic 
teaching was not so much danger to the truth of 
God, as to the system of Protestantism. 

(.) But this fear was strengthened by my being 
called to face another kind of effort to turn me 


from an investigation into Catholic principles. In 
stead of a direct answer to my difficulties, I was 
every where met with an indirect rebuke for deign 
ing to listen, for a moment even, to the claims of so 
corrupt a Church as that of Koine. Instances, 
real or imaginary, were advanced, in almost count 
less numbers, to illustrate its superstition in re 
ligion, or degradation in morals, with an intimation 
that no one, not weakened or debased in moral 
sense, could consent to such a fellowship. I looked 
at this attempt, narrowly scanned its justice and 
charity, and at once saw in it, or thought I saw, 
the working of the same leaven which, in the time 
of Christ, was infused into the opposition to the 
Christian faith by the grand adversary of man. 
cf John the Baptist came, neither eating bread, nor 
drinking wine, and they say he hath a devil." He 
is carried away by an unnatural and superstitious 
reverence for ascetic life. " The Son of man came 
eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man 
gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publi 
cans and sinners." One who favors rioting, and is 
given to sensuality. 

Here I asked myself what would have been the 
fate of the religion of Jesus Christ, when Christ 
was Himself upon earth, if this charge of laxity 
of discipline is to be considered an effectual bar to 
its claims ? I saw Judas still retained by our Lord 
among the twelve, though known to be a devil ; 
and I listened to the rebuke which He left for His 
over-rigorous followers in the parable of the ( e wheat 


and tares/ where He referred the separation of 
the bad from the good to a day of final judg 
ment. And then, in the age that followed, I per 
ceived this very charge urged against the " One 
Catholic Church " by a body of condemned here 
tics* whose sanctity had no better claim than their 

It was manifest, too, that this charge of corrup 
tion, in most cases at least, emanated from persons, 
either jealous of the influence of the Catholic clergy, 
or biased against them, from having themselves in 
some way incurred the censures of the Church, and 
hence become, through self-love, the victims of self- 
delusion. An instance of this kind,f made too no 
torious by an interested press to have escaped the 
notice of any one, produced in my mind an impres 
sion of pity for the assailant, equalled only by that 
of wonder that any member of the Protestant Epis 
copal . Church in the United States, in his sober 
senses, should be found an abetter either of the 
man or of his argument particularly as at the 
very time that Church was bleeding at every pore, 
from wounds inflicted upon her either by the faults 
of her friends, or the false accusations of her 

God forbid that I should allude to this circum 
stance with any other than the most sorrowful feel 
ings. And I only do it to show, why I felt bound, 
on every principle of justice and charity, to turn 

* The Donatists. 

| I refer to the Rev. Pierce Connelly. 



a deaf ear to an argument from such a quarter, 
drawn from a rumored or supposed corruption 
among the Catholic clergy. Besides having ac 
quired some knowledge of the Penitential system 
of Catholics, I felt quite confident that too great 
laxity in any particular case, must be owing, not 
to defect in the Church, but to the want of fidelity 
on the part of individuals intrusted with her dis 

On the whole, then, this attempt entirely failed, 
in respect to myself, of its intended effect in 
stead of arresting inquiry, it tended rather to sup 
ply an additional stimulus to it ; as it tended to 
weaken my confidence in a system that could resort 
to arguments so illogical in themselves so un 
christian in their spirit and so unbecoming the 
persons in whose mouths they were found. It was 
really a matter of grief to me to be seen in apparent 
fellowship with so unmanly, so ungenerous an as 
sault. One betokening so little sympathy with that 
ff charity which suffereth long and is kind," and 
appearing so nearly akin to that spirit which saith, 
" Stand by thyself, I am holier than thou ! " 

I was compelled to view this charge in connec 
tion with another : viz., that of dishonesty, or some 
thing as base, uniformly uttered against converts 
to Rome men who had equally gained for them 
selves the reputation of unsullied sanctity while 
Protestants, and had "left all," for conscience* 
sake, in becoming Catholics. In a word, all this 
outcry about the corrupt tendency of Catholic 


principles might seem very true and very terrible 
to some minds, but I confess I saw in it only another 
mark of the identity of the Catholic Church with 
the slandered and suffering Church of Christ ; and 
another proof of the want among Protestants of 
that divine charity, the absence of which. I had 
long bemoaned as the most fatal symptom in any 
communion, of separation from Christ, the celestial 
fountain of peace and love. Where, I asked my 
self, except in the weekly repetition of the Apostles 9 
Creed, is the manifestation among us of that blessed 
" communion of saints," which, under the resist 
less power of Christ s love, binds all hearts to 
Him blending them together in one heavenly 
fellowship filling them with one spirit concen 
trating them upon one interest and animating 
them with common joys, and pursuits, and hopes ; 
thus excluding "all bitterness, and wrath, and 
malice, and evil speaking" and making all feel 
as " one body in Christ and every one members one 
of another, that if one member suffers, all the 
members must suffer with it ? " This question 
brought conscious shame, and self-reproach, and a 
heavier weight of heartfelt distrust. 

And here another burden was added to this 
weight. "The poor," saith our Lord, "ye have 
always with you." If you are my people you will 
show it in expressions of divine sympathy for the 
wretched of every sort. They will be taken to 
your hearts and fed from your hands, and led on 
gently by your side. Your churches and houses, 


and sympathies and charities, will be thrown widely 
open to them. They will " be always with you." 
I cast my eyes around me, and saw indeed here 
and there an institution, the fruit of individual 
zeal, designed for the destitute. But when I looked 
into the system of Protestantism, I could see noth 
ing which marked it as the hope and the home of 
the wretched ; nothing which proclaimed its pe 
culiar fellowship with "the poor." Its places of 
worship, where, as was too generally the case, the 
pew system prevailed, were virtually closed against 
them. If nominal provision was made, it only ex 
pressed the more significantly the pride of wealth, 
and the utter want of communion with poverty. 
The very arrangement, said aloud to the rich, " Sit 
thou here in a good place ; " and to the poor, 
" Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool." 
In short, I could discover no general and essential 
and abiding characteristic that identified the com 
munion, to which I belonged with that divine broth 
erhood, whose glory it was that " the poor were 
always with them." Indeed, my own feeble, and 
perhaps misdirected, efforts, in this behalf, met 
with such signal discouragement and rebuke as to 
beget in me a strong suspicion of the utter incom 
patibility of the system in which I acted with 
Christ s mission to the poor. 

But the circumstance which at this period shook 
my confidence most of all, was the absence, in my 
view, of any instituted method among Protestants 
for the, remission of post-baptismal sin. Sins be- 


fore baptism were expressly forgiven in that sacra 
ment. But for the remission of those committed 
after, however deadly, I could see in Protestantism 
no provision. That Christ left power in His 
Church to remit these I had no doubt. And for 
a time, after my mind had become alive to the im 
portance of the exercise of this power, I believed 
that it existed and might be lawfully exercised in 
the communion of which I was a bishop. But upon 
stricter examination and more mature thought, I 
became convinced that if the existence of such 
power was not actually denied, its exercise, except 
in a very modified sense and within very restricted 
limits, was virtually prohibited. The discovery 
filled me with dread, which daily observation in 
creased, till finally it passed into absolute conster 
nation. No one, who has not been in my state, 
can fully appreciate my sensations, when I opened 
my eyes to the fact that multitudes around me in 
trusted to my care, were goaded by a conviction of 
mortal sin and demanding relief, and I was not al 
lowed by my Church to administer that relief in 
the only way which seemed to me to be directed 
by God s word as understood by His early Church. 
The question now forced itself upon me, Can that be 
an institution of God which thus locks up the gifts 
(supposing it to have received them) which He 
commands His priesthood to dispense to the needy 
and perishing souls for whom Christ died ? * 

* One consideration more, deeply concerned in my submission to the 
Catholic Church, ought, perhaps, to be mentioned. I refer to Hie claim which 


This state of doubt and fear awakened in my mind 
the inquiry, why I should not more thoroughly ex 
amine the ground on which I stood, and on which 
were based my hopes of eternal salvation ? 

When I seriously approached this question, how 
ever, it was terrible to me. No man can well con 
ceive the horror with which I first contemplated 
the possibility of a conviction against my own 
claims as the result ! My claims as a bishop, a 
minister, a Christian in any safe sense ; and hence 
of my being compelled as an honest man to give 
up my position. A horror enhanced by the self- 
humiliation with which I saw such a step must 

that church had to my faith, and love, and obedience, from the moment of my 

It was determined from the first, and by the only power commissioned by 
Christ to determine, that all persons baptized into His mystical Body, by 
water, " in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," 
by whomsoever administered, became thereby true members of " the One 
Catholic and Apostolic Church ; " and hence they must remain subject to 
its authority, in opposition to every other claim, so long as they are subjects 
of Christ s Kingdom. 

Convinced, therefore, that I was originally placed by baptism within the 
pale and under the authority of " the One Catholic and Apostolic Church," 
and that I should be guilty of an act of deadly schism in resisting this Catholic 
authority (the only authority under heaven entitled to my submission) by 
longer siding with a national and uncatholic communion, I felt bound on every 
principle of duty and safety to return with a broken and contrite heart to the 
arms of my true mother, from whom I had departed, the moment I consented, 
as an adult, to be considered a member of the protestant body. Instead, there 
fore, of unfaithfulness to the Anglican or American communion, which ia 
sometimes pleaded, I was convinced, that in my return, I did nothing more 
than throw off an unlawful allegiance imposed upon me without my con 
sent, and take steps for my restoration to that Catholic fellowship that 
" Communion of Saints," of which I was made*a member at my baptism. I 
felt, as one may be supposed to feel who in his unconscious childhood had 
been borne off asleep from his native shore on some wreck to a desert Island, 
and then, in his manhood, after long subjection to want and hardship, be 
comes convinced of the disaster and returns to the father that begot him, and 
the mother who cherished his infancy. 


cover me, the absolute deprivation of all mere tem 
poral support which it must occasion, not only to 
myself but to one whom I was bound " to love and 
cherish until death." The heartrending distress 
and mortification in which it must involve, without 
their consent, a large circle of the dearest relatives 
and friends, the utter annihilation of all that confi 
dence and hope which under common struggles 
and common sufferings, for what we deemed the 
truth, had been reposed in me as a sincere and 
trustworthy bishop. But I forbear. Enough that 
the prospect, heightened in its repulsiveness by the 
sad forebodings around me at the renewed symptoms 
of my wavering, was so confounding, as actually to 
make me debate, whether it were not better, and 
my duty, to stay and risk the salvation of my soul, 
as to make me supplicate in agony to be spared 
so bitter a chalice, to make me seize, with the eager 
ness of a drowning man, upon every possible pre 
text for relinquishing the inquiry. Could I not 
be sincere where I was ? Work with a quiet con 
science where Providence had placed me ? Were 
not the fathers of the Reformation, in case of my 
being in error, to be held responsible ? Would it 
not be presumption in me, a single bishop, to re 
consider other points long considered settled by a 
national Church ? These and more like questions 
would force themselves daily upon my mind to de 
ter my advance ; and under their influence I actually 
went so far as to commit myself publicly to Protes 
tantism, to make such advance the more difficult. 


But God was merciful, and all this did not satisfy 
me. I thought I saw in it clearly the temptation 
of Satan, an effort of my overburdened heart to 
escape self-sacrifice. I felt that if for such reasons 
I could be excused, so might Saul of Tarsus have 
been. His example of self-negation for Christ 
came frequently before me. His words, as the 
Apostle of Christ, sounded often in my ears. ( If 
any man thinketh that he hath whereof he might 
trust in the flesh, / more circumcised the eighth 
day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benja 
min, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, according to the 
Law a Pharisee concerning zeal persecuting the 
Church. Touching the justice which is in the law 
blameless. But what things were gain to me, 
the same I counted loss for Christ. Yea, further 
more, / count all things but loss for the excellent 
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For whom 
I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count 

them but dung that I may win Christ We are 

fools for Christ s sake. . . And if any man among 
you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him be 
come a fool that he may be wise We are 

made a spectacle to the world are weak and 
despised are naked and buffeted, and have no 
certain dwelling-place labor, working with our 
hands are reviled, and persecuted, and defamed ; 
yea, are made as the filth of the world unto this 
day." These words often sounded in my ears, 
with those encouraging ones too : " I reckon that 
the sufferings of this present time are not worthy 


to be compared with the glory that shall be re 
vealed. For if we suffer with Christ we shall also 
reign with Him. We suffer with Him, that we 
may be glorified together." And I felt warned 
and strengthened from above, to let nothing below 
turn me from a faithful search into the will of God. 
Other and still more solemn words, too, would 
come to deepen and fix this impression words 
from the lips, the bosom, of Eternal Charity : " He 
that would be my disciple, must deny himself, take 
up his cross and follow me. He that forsaketh not 
all that he hath CANNOT be my disciple. He that 
saveth his life shall lose it ; but he that loseth his 
life for my sake shall keep it unto life eternal." 
Yea, and those awful words, too, which, in the 
mouth of the holy Ignatius, changed the proud and 
self-indulgent thoughts of the youthful noblemen 
into the penitential sighs and angelic aspirations of 
the self-denying and wonder-working St. Francis : 
" What shall it profit a man, if he gain the 
whole world and lose his own soul ? " 

Now it was that I cast myself, body and soul, 
powers, honors, and emoluments, all that 1 was, 
all that I had, before the cross of Christ, entreat 
ing Him to take all, and lead me to the truth, lead 
me to Himself, vowing, in the depth of my soul, 
that if He would in mercy show me the way, and 
uphold my footsteps, I would follow Him whither 
soever He would lead me ! 

I will not attempt to say what it cost me to 
make this surrender. But one thing I will say, 


the sacrifice has been repaid ten thousandfold in 
the blessings of present peace, and in the certain 
hopes of eternal life. And another thing I will 
record, by way of caution to my dear friends, that 
if any of them have one doubt, or think they ought 
to have one doubt of their present safety, (and 
who will not think this, after the solemn admoni 
tion to consider and reconsider, given in the de 
parture of so many of the best and wisest Angli 
cans to the Catholic Church ; for who would 
refuse, or think there was no cause to examine his 
title deeds, while grave doubts concerning them 
were abroad, and the wisest members of his family 
were bestirring themselves to make good the ten 
ure of their estates ?) if any of my dear friends, 
then, have one doubt or suspicion of their safety as 
Protestants, let them at once commit themselves to 
the guidance of God s Spirit. Nothing else can 
save them. Nothing else give them courage to 
face the trials, to baffle self-delusion, and advance 
to the altar of self-sacrifice. Let them waive all 
investigation, then, till they have humbled them 
selves before the cross, and sought, in a spirit of 
childlike docility, for the guidance of the Holy 
Ghost till they have cast themselves upon this 
guidance, and poured forth the fervent desires of 
their hearts in some such thoughts as these : " God 
of all goodness, Father of mercies, and Savior of 
mankind, I implore Thee, by Thy boundless wis 
dom and love, to enlighten my mind, and touch 
my heart, that by means of true faith, hope, and 
charity, I may live and die in the true religion of 


Jesus Christ. I confidently believe that, as there 
is but one God, there can be but one faith, one 
religion, one only path to salvation, and that every 
other path opposed thereto can lead but to destruc 
tion. This path, O my God, I anxiously seek 
after, that I may follow it, and be saved. There 
fore I protest before Thy Divine Majesty that I 
will follow the religion which Thou shalt reveal to 
me as the true one, and will abandon, at whatever 
cost, that wherein I shall have discovered errors 
and falsehoods. I confess that I do not deserve 
this favor for the greatness of my sins; for which 
I am truly penitent, seeing they offend a God who 
is so good, so holy, so worthy of love. But what 
I deserve not I hope to obtain from Thine infinite 
mercy.; and I beseech Thee to grant it unto me 
through the merits of that precious blood which 
was shed for us sinners by Thine only Son, Jesus 
Christ, our Lord," &c. 

You will perceive that this prayer presupposes 
two conditions as indispensable to a proper investi 
gation of religious truth. 1. That the salvation 
of the soul throughout eternity be regarded as infi 
nitely more desirable than any good in time; and 
heiue, as demanding our attention and pursuit at 
the sacrifice, if need be, of all else besides. 
. That, to save the soul, God s will be taken as 
the only sure guide ; and as demanding our cheer 
ful submission at the sacrifice, if need be, of every 
other will, and in resistance of every other claim, 
or influence. It may be very difficult effectually 
to brace up the mind to these considerations, so 


to put aside the powers of " the world, the flesh, 
and the devil/ and so to humble our pride, as to 
make time yield in all things to eternity, and our 
wills to the will of God ; but it must be done, or 
we can never promise ourselves any sure advance 
in the pursuit of truth. Strive, then, first of all, 
my dear friends, (if you will allow me once more 
to exhort you in the truest love,) to realize the 
immense value of the soul, the utter worthlessness, 
comparatively, of all earthly things, the dreadful 
idea of its loss, and the unspeakable wisdom of ever 
holding one s self ready to sacrifice all other things 
for its salvation ! When you have done this, en 
deavor to fix before and within, and all around 
your minds, the awful, but certain truth, that the 
salvation of your souls can be attained only in sub 
mission to the will of God. And further, as you 
have always been taught, that " there is a way 
which seemeth right unto a man,, but the end 
thereof are the ways of death." 

From a living, controlling sense of these things, 
it was (and I say it with humble thankfulness to 
God, for how little did I deserve the grace !) that 
I started forward anew, resolved, by the help of 
Divine light, to find a certain answer to the ques 
tion, " "What is God s will as the way of man s sal* 
vation ? " 

And now I entreat my clear friends to pray for 
such light, and follow me in the search. The 
result may be matter for deep and joyful thanks 
giving to God throughout eternity. 





THE question with, me was, (and I am not 
ashamed, even at my time of life, and with my pe 
culiar advantages as a Protestant, to acknowledge 
it,) "What must I do to be saved?" or, What is 
God s will as the way of man s salvation 1 

To this question I felt the answer must be posi 
tive and certain ; that no mere approximation to 
the truth, however flattering or well fortified, 
would bring relief; that any thing short of absolute 
certainty would fail to meet my case. Of doubt 
and confusion I had had enough. My mind 
reached forth for a distinct and infallible response ; 
and it did so confidently, and with a sense of right, 
for under God s invitation and promise, it reached 
forth to GOD, and to God alone. If it were true 
dhat HE had undertaken to instruct me, to reveal 
3 * (29) 


or make known His will to me, I felt assured that 
complete success must attend His work ; that when 
God taught, the lesson would be distinct ; that 
when His light shone upon truth, doubt would 
vanish ; when His lips uttered it, certainty would 
be seen in every line ; and that w r hen God spake, 
man was to keep silence, was simply to learn and 
obey. To me it seemed utterly absurd that God 
should condescend to instruct man, because of his 
ignorance, how to save his soul, and then leave him 
to make a single surmise, allow him even to point 
his own finger in the way, or put in a word of 
direction how to follow it utterly absurd and 
impious that God should be supposed to depend, in 
any degree, upon the helpless being whom He 
designed to rescue from his state of absolute help 
lessness to borrow light in any way or measure 
from the dark mind, which, in pity, He conde 
scended to illumine and to guide. I felt, there- 
fore, that I might justly demand exactness and 
infallibility in the answer to my inquiry for God s 
exact will, as it was to be an answer from God , 
that His word to me should require no additional 
clearness from the dictates of my own perplexed 
reason, that His truth should be "rendered suspi 
cious by no human alloy ; the bright page of His 
revealed will be dimmed by no uncertainty of man s 
reason ; that man s reason be employed only as the 
active receiver of the pure mind of God. 

Not only my own wants urged this claim, and 
the very nature as well as promise of God, who, in 


mercy, undertook to meet them, justified it; but 
also the reverence due to His perfections, and thr 
gratitude due to His love would allow no other. 1 
felt that He had invited me to come and learn of 
Him, promising rest to my soul ; and that, had I 
come thus at His own invitation, for an answer less 
than infallible, it would have been an insult to 
His infinite wisdom and power ; that had I ex 
pected less, when He condescended to supply, it 
would have been a return of base ingratitude and 
distrust for the marvellous provisions of His con 
descension and love. 

I said to myself, God declares to me that He 
has contrived and revealed the way of my salva 
tion, and, desiring that I should come to a knowl 
edge of it, has, in fulfilment of His promise to 
"lead me into all truth," secured its exact and 
thorough inculcation by positive and fixed means, 
can I be satisfied with any thing short of cer- 
tainty in this knowledge, and stand guiltless before 
Him ? be satisfied with any thing short of certainty 
and claim to be a Christian in truth ? How can I 
know that I am a Christian any further than I 
know that I am following Christ ? And can I con 
tent myself with an imperfect or doubtful knowl 
edge of so solemn and urgent a fact ? What would 
such a listless careless spirit tell of my earnestness 
to be saved, or of my estimation of God s way of 
salvation ? What of that loving spirit which 
~knows the voice of the Good Shepherd, and that 
Good Shepherd Himself? What of that childlike 


dependence on the Father of mercies, which bows 
to every intimation, and treasures every hint that 
can lead to the most exact obedience of His will ? 
that fills the soul with intense desires for perfect 
conformity to the spirit, the laws, and the fellow 
ship of -Him who could suffer and die, as Christ 
suffered and died for sinners ? What of faith, and 
hope, and charity in Him who said to " the weary, 
Take my yoke and learn of me, and ye shall find 
rest to your souls " who said to those groping in 
doubt, " / am the light of the world ; he that fol 
lowed me shall not wall: in darkness but shall have 
the light of lifeT 

Knowing, therefore, that I "walked in dark 
ness," I sought with all my heart this " light of 
life," knowing, too, that Satan himself was some 
times transformed to imitate this light, I was the 
more wary, and the more importunate and deter 
mined in my demand, to know the truth, the 
tvhole truth, and nothing but the truth, as it is 
in Jesus. Verily could I say with St. Paul, " I 
count all things but loss for the excellent Icnowl- 
edge of Christ Jesus my Lord" But I felt that 
it must be knowledge and not conjecture : that the 
perfections of the great Lawgiver justified the 
expectation of certainty; that the state of man 
required it the yearnings of his heart demanded 
it the love of Christ pledged it the provision 
in Christ offered it the promise of Christ insured 
it. My demand, therefore, was for that perfect 
knowledge of God s will upon which I could found 
a certain and abiding faith. 




UPON looking into the sources from which ail 
who call themselves Christians profess to draw 
their hope of salvation, I found them unanimous in 
claiming the revelation of God to be their sole de 
pendence. Here, then, was a pleasing and, at first 
sight, a somewhat hopeful agreement. The revela 
tion of God was universally admitted to be the 
only sure guide to God s will, and hence to man s 

The great question, then, presented itself, 
What is the revelation of God ? And no sooner 
was it presented, than serious disagreement began. 
And first, in regard to the written revelation. 
Here, I heard it asserted that it embraced a certain 
number of specified books ; and there, that certain 
other books must be added : 011 the one hand, that 
every dogma and precept in these books, when 
once admitted to be from God, must be submitted 
to, however mysterious in itself, or however ob 
scurely revealed ; and then, on the other, that 
human reason has a right to distinguish between 
things essential and things non-essential in revela 
tion, and to put upon all such an interpretation as 
may make all consistent with its own sense of the 
fitness of things. 


My first concern, therefore, seemed to be with 
tins last-named opinion. And surely when I seri 
ously reflected upon it, I could hardly persuade 
myself that any intelligent Christian could be so 
lost to every just conception of a revelation from 
GOD to man as to be guilty of entertaining it. For, 
the moment I am certain that GOD speaks to me, 
as a man merely, my spirit shrinks in awe and 
submission before every word that He utters. But 
when I know that I stand guilty and condemned 
before Him totally dependent upon His mercy, 
and totally ignorant of His gracious will, and that 
HE, through marvellous unmerited love, conde 
scends to reveal this will as the ground of my sal 
vation, I feel bound to know it all and infallibly, 
and to obey it all and perfectly. For to me it is 
enough to feel assured that whatever God has re 
vealed for us is required of us. Besides, I put it 
to my reason to say whether, if God has enjoined 
certain things, any one but God can dispense with 
them? "Whether, if God has conjoined certain 
particulars in a necessary whole, any one but God 
can pronounce whether any of these particulars 
can be safely omitted or safely left doubtful 1 Or 
again, whether, if God, in the unfathomable depths 
of His wisdom, has proposed to our belief certain 
incomprehensible verities, our faith may be safely 
withheld till our reason has penetrated their ob 
scurity, stripped them of mystery, and presented 
them in some familiar and acceptable guise ? And 
finally, the necessity of unqualified submission to 


whatever God has revealed, however mysterious, 
or however apparently insignificant, a necessity 
wrought out and set before my eyes, by God s 
providence, in His Written Word ; and in such 
repeated instances, scattered along the whole his 
tory of man s strange perverseness, as not only to 
proclaim in the clearest manner God s demands 
upon us, but also to exhibit in the most instructive 
light our own blind propensity to resist them. 

I see our first parents shut out from the bless 
ings of Paradise, and groaning beneath the toil and 
misery of an earth cursed for their sakes ; and as 
the cause, I perceive that, misled by the pride of 
reason, they thought it mattered little whether 
they acted up to the strict sense of God s word, or 
followed the free and most agreeable interpretation 
of Satan. I see Cain, wandering forth from the 
presence of God, bearing God s curse upon his 
brow and an intolerable weight of misery in his 
soul; and as the first cause, I learn that he has 
been found guilty of judging it a small thing to 
vary from the mere outward institution of God, and 
offer the first fruits of the ground instead of the 
firstlings of the flock. I see Cora, Dathan, and 
Abiron, with all their company, sinking, under the 
judgments of Almighty God, from the sight of men 
into the bowels of the earth ; and I find the cause 
to consist in a low estimate of priestly authority, 
and an unlawful and arrogant assumption of its 
prerogatives. I see Hoses, the servant of God, 
though raised to the headship of his people, ex- 

eluded from the land of Canaan and condemned to 
a solitary death in the mountains of the desert; 
and I perceive, as the cause, that he failed, before 
the complaining Israelites, to give the entire glory 
to his Sovereign, but wavered in his faith and 
" spake unadvisedly with his lips." I see Uzzah, 
smitten by the hand of God, sinking a corpse before 
His ark ; and I learn the cause to be simply a fear- 
fulness for that ark, and an unauthorized attempt 
to save it. I see the leprous Captain of the Syrian 
host turning in contemptuous pride from the simple 
remedy prescribed by God s prophet for his cure, 
and moving off in a rage with the prospect of pass 
ing the remnant of his days a miserable leper ; and 
that because he could not discern the reason why 
the waters of Jordan, though appointed by God, 
should have an efficacy superior to that of the 
rivers of his own country. I see many of the fol 
lowers of our Lord, who had actually witnessed 
His miracles, turning back and abandoning forever 
the hopes of eternal life through His blood ; and 
that, because He made that life depend upon verily 
eating His body, ("he that eateth me, even he 
shall live by me ; ") and then, because they mur 
mured at so hard a saying, He refused to do more 
than urge with increased solemnity the necessity of 
their implicit faith and obedience. 

In these, therefore, as well as in a multitude of 
other instances, I could not fail to perceive, as 
God s hand had written the lesson with an awful 
plainness, that human reason runs the most terrible 


risk, in attempting to treat as non-essential any 
truth, no matter how apparently insignificant, or to 
modify and abate the literal force, of any truth, 
no matter how deeply incomprehensible, provided 
only God has revealed it. 



To my mind it was settled, therefore, that I had 
a right to demand not only a certain infallible 
answer to the question, generally, " What is God s 
will 1 " but also particularly ; that is, in respect 
to each truth, however small, however mysterious, 
which God has proposed to my faith or enjoined 
upon my practice. 

Under this view, I entered upon the inauiry, 
how, or by what means are we to come to an exact 
knowledge of God s will as contained in Holy 
Scripture ? So that we may have an absolute cer 
tainty that it teaches this or that particular truth 
teaches this much of truth, and no more ? 

It was clear to me already that God alone could 
help me that HE, who is the sole fountain of 
revelation, must also be its sole interpreter. In 
this idea, too, I was happy to believe all Christians 
more or less acquiesced ; that no denomination 
claims the ability of itself to understand the Scrip- 


tures, but that the theory of all is, that man must 
go out of himself, must cast himself upon God 
as the only sure dependence ; that His Spirit must 
in some way " guide us into all truth," or we shall 
never know it. In what way, then, (this being 
the form which the question finally assumed) has 
God secured to us the infallible guidance of the 
Holy Spirit as our interpreter of His will ? 

Here I hardly need say that any way which God 
may appoint must be a perfect way. That it would 
be highly derogatory to His infinite wisdom and 
power to suppose it possible that He should essay 
to provide man with the means of guidance to His 
will, and that means be not, in every respect and in 
every sense, sufficient to secure unerring knowledge. 

I first examined the means suggested by a large 
majority of Protestants : viz., that through prayer, 
God would enlighten each man s mind to under 
stand, after diligent study, the true sense of the 

The result of my examination forced upon me 
the conviction that this could not be the means of 
God s appointment, for the following among other 

1. First, any means of help coming from God to 
mankind, must, to commend itself to their reason 
able acceptance, be of universal application to 
them, and adapted to all their various states and 
capacities. But this means proposed by Protes 
tants, I perceived to be, to say the least of it, of 
very partial application suited only to the cir 


cumstances of a very small portion of those for 
whose instruction in the way of life the Bible was 

For, observe, the mere possession of a certain 
amount of paper and ink, and binding, called the 
Bible, even were it in every man s hand, and he a 
man of prayer, could go but a very little way to 
wards a real knowledge of the will of God. For 
when this book comes to hand, the man must be 
able to read it to read it critically to know 
when he reads it, that it is verily the book in which 
the Holy Spirit deposited the mind of God that 
in substance at least, it came from the inspired 
Apostles, and has been transmitted to himself with 
out serious change of any kind. But how many, 
I asked myself, of those who are commanded to 
know the Bible and are to be judged by the Bible, 
have even such ability to attain its real meaning? 
or can assume themselves beyond doubt, that the 
book they have in their hand contains God s will ? 
For no one, I presume, maintains that the Holy 
Ghost is to assist individuals to a knowledge of 
mere facts ; such, for example, as pertain to the 
inspiration and authenticity and genuineness of the 
Scriptures ; or that we are to look to His illumina 
tion for ability to translate them ourselves, or judge 
of the translations of others. Yet all these things, 
it will be perceived, must be attained before we can 
even enter upon the task, the fearful task, of Scrip 
ture interpretation. Surely, I said to myself, a 
method of arriving at God s will so very partial in 


its applicability to the necessities of the helpless 
creatures whom it professes to aid, cannot have 
God for its author. The idea is too unreasonable 
for the acceptance of man, too unworthy of the 
perfections of God. 

. This appeared, too, from another considera 
tion. If there be one intention of our Lord more 
manifest in His life among men than another, it is 
that of providing especially for the spiritual wants 
of the poor ; of that class of persons who had 
hitherto been so shamefully neglected by their fel 
low-men. Among the multitude of things which 
He did and said in their behalf, and for their especial 
encouragement, He proclaimed, as a great funda 
mental provision secured by His coming, as one 
which by its realization in Himself, established His 
divine claims : " To the poor is the Gospel 
preached." The Gospel preached. Not a mere 
sound uttered in their hearing ; but a " certain 
sound," a sound of " glad tidings " a distinct 
proclamation of a way of eternal life opened to 
them as condemned by their sins to eternal death. 
" To the poor is the Gospel preached ; " the 
Gospel preached not communicated by means 
of a book, which they (each for himself) are to 
read and criticize, and understand but preached 
by a clear, unerring, living voice. How reason 
able, how admirable, how full of love, of gracious 
consideration for the poor, I exclaimed within my 
self, is this, our Lord s instituted method of im 
parting to them a sure knowledge ol His salvation \ 


But how unreasonable, because in every way un 
suitable, this method insisted on by Protestants. I 
say unsuitable. For, to send the poor and ignorant 
to learn the way to save their souls from the Bible 
merely, seemed to me as obviously preposterous, as 
it would be to send them to learn how to get their 
daily bread, to the Principia of Newton, or the 
Agricultural Chemistry of Liebig. Besides, I had 
seen with my own eyes, in a long ministry to the 
poor, the fearful working among them of this 
Protestant method of learning God s will. The 
stupid ignorance the horrid misconceptions the 
frightful perversions the soul-sickening debase 
ments, which it wrought in my own field of labor, 
had been pain and grief to me for more than thirty 
years. How could I believe, with these sad lessons 
gathered from my own observation, that a God of 
wisdom could justify His own avowed designs of 
special mercy to the poor and helpless, by leaving 
them a prey to this merciless scheme of attaining a 
knowledge of His will through their individual 
minds and judgments ? An idea so revolting even 
to my reason, was at once dismissed as offensive to 
Almighty God. 

3. Another manifest difficulty attended the Prot 
estant scheme. It failed to secure to mankind 
what God required them to maintain, < unity in 
the faith." 

Where there is " one Lord," reason, as well as 
revelation, demands " one faith " Where there is 
" one God and Father of us all," reason, as well 


as revelation, demands that we all, as " God s dear 
children," be of " one mind, and one heart, striv 
ing together for the faith of the gospel." I was 
not surprised, therefore, to find Christ, our great 
Prophet, declaring Himself to be " the light ; " and 
the plan of salvation instituted in Himself as " the 
way, the truth, and the life." And His people as 
those who hear " His voice," His one voice, "and 
follow HIM." Neither did I wonder, as I listened 
to the earnestness of the apostolic entreaties, that 
f( we all speak the same things, and be perfectly 
joined together, not only in the same heart, but 
also in the same judgment." Nor at the terrible 
threatenings against such " as cause divisions ; " 
nor at the pressing admonitions to the faithful to 
" avoid them," and to adhere to their own pastors, 
who are sent for "the edifying of the body of 
Christ," to the end " that we may all come in the 
unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son 
of God, unto a perfect man unto the fulness of 
the stature of Christ." But in looking at the prin 
ciple of private judgment in matters of Christian 
faith, common sense, as well as common observa 
tion, taught me that its result among self-willed 
men could be no other than endless discord. I say 
common observation. For the result was actually 
before me. And 1 was not surprised to find, un 
der this system, no error too absurd, not to have 
been broached. To find among the hundreds of 
sects produced by its operation, every fundamental 
doctrine of the blessed Gospel denied, and every 


form and shade of anathematized error maintained, 
and all cursed with the uncertainty of perpetual 
change. As well, thought I, might the harmony 
of society be preserved by intrusting the interpre 
tation of law to each individual litigant, as the 
" unity of faith," by committing the discovery and 
meaning of God s word to the search of each indi 
vidual mind. Here, therefore, I felt that I might 
leave the question as sufficiently settled, so far as re 
gards the instrumentality of mere private judgment. 



HERE, however, I was met by a more plausible 
theory. "With the admission that, in a certain sense, 
and to a certain degree, the Church of Christ had 
authority to judge in matters of faith, had been 
made by God the interpreter of His will to men. 
This theory I well understood, as I had held it, 
and acted upon it, in common with the party in 
England and America called " High Churchmen," 
during the whole of my ministerial life. We main 
tained that in the commission of Christ to His 
Apostles, " Go teach all nations, baptizing them, - 5 
&c., and in the communication of priestly prerog 
ative, " Receive ye the Holy Ghost : whosesoever 
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; and 


whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained/ God 
had constituted His Church the authoritative teacher 
of His will to mankind, and the authorized dis 
penser among them of His holy discipline. That 
all were bound to " hear the Church,," and that, if 
any obstinately refused, they were to be treated as 
<( heathens and publicans." That the Church 
founded " upon a rock," was " the pillar and 
ground of the truth," full able to resist " the gates 
of hell." That " God had set in the Church some 
Apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers 
for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of 
the ministry, for the edifying of the body of 
Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith 
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a 
perfect man, &c. That we be no more children 
tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine by 
the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby 
they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth 
in love, may grow up into Him in all things which 
is the Head." That a divine necessity was laid 
upon the faithful, to " obey those that have the 
rule over them and submit themselves, because they 
watch for their souls, and have to give account of 
them." " To remember those who have spoken 
to them the word of God to follow their faith, 
considering the end of their conversation." Thai 
this necessity was enforced by the awful sayings, 
" He that heareth you, heareth me ; and he that 
despiseth you, despiseth me." And again, " We 
are of God he that knoweth God, heareth us 
But he that is not of God, heareth not us." 


To give and maintain the true meaning of this 
Scripture, we appealed constantly and confidently to 
the early Fathers of the Church. The most strik 
ing passages from these fathers touching church 
authority, were like household words among us. 
Thus St. Clement of Rome * writes as follows : 

" Do ye who laid the foundation of this sedition 
submit yourselves to the priests, -\ and be instructed 
unto repentance. Bending the knees of your 
hearts, learn to be subject, laying aside all proud 
and arrogant boasting of your tongues ; for it is 
better for you to be found in the sheepfold of 
Christ, little and approved, than, thinking your 
selves above others, to be cast out of hope." Ep. 
i. ad Cor. n. 54, fyc. And St. Ignatius of An- 
tioch : "It becomes you to concur in the mind 

of your Bishop For whomsoever the master 

of the house sendeth to his own household, we 
ought so to receive as we would Him that sent him. 
It is plain that we ought to look to the Bishop as 
to the Lord himself. Obeying the Bishop and 
presbytery with an entire mind" Ep. ad Ephes. 
" Neither attempt ye any thing that seems good to 
your own judgment, || but let there be in the same 
place one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one 

* The Bishop of that See, honored by the near friendship of St. Peter, and 
writing about fifty years after Christ. 

| } X-ttOTCL-yr]T TOIS irpsvffvTSpois. 

J The Bishop of that See and the disciple of St. John, writing about 
105-107, and suffering martyrdom in 107. 

Toy ovv iiriaxonov i>j\6v on w? O.VTOV rdv Kvpivv del irpoapXinBii . 

|| Or according to Cotelerius, " Ut aliquid vobis seorsim rationi consenta- 
neum videafur." 


hope, in love, in joy undefiled." Ep. ad Magnes 
tf Guard against such men [heretics,] and guarded 
ye will be, if ye are not puffed up, nor separated 
from the Lord Jesus Christ, and from the Bishop, 
and from the regulations of the Apostles." Ep. 
ad Trail. " My soul for the soul of those who 
are in subjection to the Bishop, and presbyters, and 
deacons, and my portion be with them in the Lord." 
Ep. ad Polyc. 

And St. Polycarp * declared, f Wherefore, it is 
necessary, that ye be subject to the presbyters and 
deacons as unto God and Christ," Ep. ad Philip. 

And St. Theophilus f was heard to say, " As in 
the sea there are inhabited and well-watered islands, 
with ports and harbors, that they who are tempest 
tossed may find shelter in them ; so to the world, 
agitated and tossed by sins, God hath given holy 
churches, in which are the doctrines of truth, $ and 
unto which they who wish to be saved fly." Ad 

And St. Irenseus, Bishop of Lyons, as he af 
firmed : " There being such proofs to look to, we 
ought not still to seek among others for truth which 
it is easy to receive from the Church, seeing that the 
Apostles most fully committed unto this Church, 

* Bishop of Smyrna, instructed by St. John, and lived on terms of intimacy 
with many who had seen our Lord ; he wrote this epistle about 107. 

f Bishop of Antioch, highly commended by the Fathers, and wrote abou 

J eKK\r](ria.s &yia$ ... at 8ifiaaKCi\ia.i r>7? dXr/Osias sicri. 

$ The disciple of St. Polycarp ; he wrote about 185, and was martyred 
m 202. 


as unto a rich repository, all whatever is of truth)* 
that every one that willeth may draw out of it the 

drink of life Therefore we ought to cling 

with the utmost care to whatever is of the Church,f 

and to hold fast to the tradition of truth But 

what if the Apostles had not left writings : would it 
not have been needful to follow the order of that 
tradition which they delivered to those to whom 
they committed the Churches ? An ordinance to 
which many of the barbarous nations who believe 
in Christ assent, having salvation written, without 
paper and ink, by the Spirit in their hearts, and 
sedulously guarding the old tradition." Adv 
Hares. I. 3. 

Again : " In the Church God hath placed Apos 
tles, prophets, doctors, and every other operation 
of the Spirit, of which those are not partakers who . 
do not hasten to the Church. J. . .For where the 
Church is there is the Spirit of God, and where 
the Spirit of God is there is the Church and every 
grace ; but the Spirit is truth. Wherefore, they 
who do not partake of it, are neither nourished 
unto life by the breast of a mother, nor see the 
most clear spring which flows from Christ s body, 
but dig unto themselves broken cisterns out of 
earthy trenches, and out of the filth drink foul 

* Quum apostoli, quasi in depositorium dives, plenissime in earn contulerint 
omnia qua sunt veritatis. 

| Q,uae autem sunt ecclesia!, cum summa diligentia diligere. 

\ Cujus non aunt participes omnes qui non currunt ad ecclesiam. 

Ubi enim ecclesia, ibi et Spiritus Dei, et ubi Spiritus Dei, illic ecclesia, 
et oranis gratia ; Spiritus autem veritas. 


water, fleeing from the faith of the Church,"- 
Ibid. 1. 3. 

And again : " The preaching of the Church, in 
which one and the same way of salvation is set 
forth throughout the whole world, is firm and true.* 
For to this Church has been intrusted the light of 
God, and on this account is the wisdom of God, 
through which He saves all men, proclaimed in the 

gates ; in the streets she acts confidently For, 

every where the Church preacheth the truth ; and 
this is the lamp with seven branches, which bears 
the light of Christ." Ibid. 1. v. 

Thus, too, Clement of Alexandria,f who says : 
" The Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, has very 
clearly manifested what we are seeking after, say 
ing thus, ( Until we all meet in the unity of the 
faith and of the knowledge of God, unto a perfect 
man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of 
Christ, &c. ; saying these things unto the building 
up of the body of Christ. . .the alone perfect in 
righteousness ; but are children, avoiding the winds 
of heresy, which puff up to swelling pride, and 
not believing those who teach otherwise than the 
Father Sj J are then perfected, when we are a Church, 
having received Christ the Head." 

Thus also Tertullian, where he declares : f It is 
not lawful to indulge any thing of our own choice, 

* Ecclesiffi quidem pradicatio vera etfirma. 

f A celebrated priest of the Church there, and master of the catechetical 
schools, writing about 200. 

J M>; KaTairiffTtvovT$ ro?y aAAwj ruitv vovBsrovfft Trarlpaf. 

$ Contemporary with Irenaeus, living at Carthage, and writing about 190. 


as neither to choose that which any one may have 
introduced of his own choice.* We have for our 
authors the Apostles of the Lord, who did not even 
themselves choose any thing to he introduced of 
their own will,! but faithfully delivered over to 
the nations the religion which they received from 

Christ Now what the Apostles preached, that 

is, what Christ revealed unto them. . .must be 
proved in no other way than by the same Churches 
which the Apostles themselves founded. J Them 
selves preaching to them, as well viva voce, as men 
say, as afterwards by epistles. If these things be 
so, it becomes manifest that all doctrine wilich 
agrees with these apostolic Churches, the wombs 
and originals of the faith, must be accounted true, 
as without doubt containing that which Churches 
have received from the Apostles, the Apostles from 
Christ, Christ from God ; but that every doctrine 
must be judged at once to be false, which savoreth 
things contrary to the truth of the Churches. " 
De Prccs. Hcer. 

And Origen, || who says : " Let there be preserved 
the ecclesiastical teaching, which, transmitted by the 
order of succession from the Apostles, remains even 

* Nobis vero niliil ex nostro arbitrio indulgere licet, sed noc eligera quod 
aliijuis de arbitrio suo intluxerit. 

f Ex suo arbitrio. 

\ Non aliter probari debere, nisi per easdem ecclesias quas ipac a^ostoli 

$ Constat oinnem doctrinam qua; cum illis ecclesiis apostolicis, matricioua 
et originalibus fidei conspiret, veritati deputandam .... Oinnem vero <* octti- 
nam, de memlacio prajtidicandam, quae sapiat contra veritatem ecclesiarunx 

|j Au Egyptian writer of great celebrity, about 020. 


to the present day in the Churches ; that alone is to 
be believed to be truth which in nothing differs 
from the ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition." * 
De Prin. T. 1. " He, Christ, is the light of the 
world, who also with His light enlightens the 
Church. For as the moon is said to derive light 
from the sun, that by it even the night may be 
illumined, so also the Church, having received the 
light of Christ, gives light to all who live in the 
night of ignorance." T. ii. Horn. i. in Gen. 
" They who teach the word according to the 
Church (qui ccdesiastice docent) are the prophets 
of God." T. iii. Com. in Matt. 

And St. Cyprian,t whose praise is in all the 
Churches : " ( He that heareth you heareth me, 
&c. There being these numerous and weighty, 
and many other such examples as precedents, 
whereby God hath condescended to confirm the 
sacerdotal authority and power, what kind of men, 
thinkest thou, are they who, enemies of the Priest 
hood, and rebels against the Catholic Church, are 
neither scared by the Lord s forewarning threats, 
nor by the vengeance of a future judgment ? For 
neither have heresies sprung up, nor schisms been 
engendered, from other source than this, that 
obedience is not paid to the priest of God. . .who for 
the time is judge in Christ s stead, whom, if the 
brotherhood would according to the divine com- 

* Ilia sola credemla est veritas, qnce in nullo ab ecclesiastica et apostolica 
discordat traditione. 
f Bishop of Carthage, wrote about 150-155, martyred 158. 


mantis obey* no one would stir in opposition to 
the college of Priests." Ep. iv. ad Cornel. 

And the Apostolic Constitutions : " Let the lay 
man honor the good shepherd. For he who hears 
him, hears Christ, and he who despises him despises 
Christ. . .For He has said, He that heareth you 
heareth Me ; and he that despiseth you despiseth 
Me ; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that 
sent Me." lib. ii. c. xx. 

And St. Pamphilius *( declares : " That alone is 
to be received and believed as truth, which in 
nothing is opposed to the apostolic and ecclesiasti 
cal dogmas." Published in the works of Gallan- 
dus. T. iv. 

Lactantius, the famed rhetorician of Mcomedia, 
affirmed, about A.D. 300 : " The Catholic Church 
is the only one which retains the true worship. 
This is the source of truth ; this is the dwelling- 
place of faith : this the temple of God, which who 
soever enters not, or from which whosoever de 
parts, he is an alien from the hope of life and 
eternal salvation. 9 

Eusebius writes : " The Church of God, journey 
ing straight in the right and royal road, has con 
demned all the rest as by-paths (rc pev ullag irao^x- 
$ &nSoxi[.iacie.~) and she transmits to her votaries 

* ... Ad tempus juclex vice Christ! cogitatur, cui si spcuiidum magisteria 
divina olttemperaret fraternitas. 

f Priest and martyr of Palestine about 295. 

J Sola Catholica ecclesia est, quae veruin culturn retinet. Hie est tons 
veritatis, hoc domicilium fide i, quod si quis rion intraverit, vel a quo si quis 
exiverit, a spe vitte ac salutis aeteniffi alienus est. 


the knowledge of divine grace." See Eccles. 
Theol 1. i. c. 8. 

St. Hilary : * " He (our Lord) signifies that they 
who are placed without the Church cannot attain 
to any understanding of the divine words." - Com. 
in St. Matt. c. xiii. 

And the great St. Athaiiasius : f " Let us see 
the tradition which is from the beginning, and the 
doctrine and faith of the Catholic Church, which 
the Lord indeed communicated, but the apostles 
proclaimed and the fathers guarded; for on this 
has the Church been founded, and he who falls 
away from this, would not be, nor would he even 
be called, a Christian." $ Ep. i. ad. Scrap. 

St. Cyril of Jerusalem exhorts : " Take thou 
hold, as a learner and in profession, that faith 
only which is now delivered thee by the Church, 
and is fenced round out of all holy scripture." || 
Cat v. n. 12. 

St. Gregory of Nyssa^I affirms: "Whoso look- 
eth unto the Church, looketh at once unto 
Christ."** In Cant T. i. 

And St. Basil the Great ft says: "We stand 

* Bishop of Poictiers, about 355. 

f Assistant of the Patriarch of Alexandria at the first Council of Nictea ; 
and afterwards occupant of that Patriarchal See. 

J iv ravrri yap /; KK\rj<Tia. r0/iXi<iJTai, KO.I b ravTijs KTTiTTTUv t 

ovr, av iirj, OVT av I n \tyoiro XpiffTiavos 

Bishop of Jerusalem, 345. 

|| Hitrriv. . . rripijaov poviiv r>> i>vo rrjs KK\r]crias vvvl aol 
TIIV SK Tratrr /s j/p^ijs laxvpunivriVt 

V Bishop of that See 371. 

** O r/;oj ri]v tKK\riaiav j3~Mitb)v, rrpos rov Xpioroj avTiK 

tt Bishop of Cajsarea, 3u9 


in special need of assistance from you (Western 
Bishops), to the end that they who profess the 
Apostolic Faith, having done away with the schisms 
which they have invented, may henceforward be 
subjected to the authority of the Church,* and see 
our own churches also recover their pristine glory 
of orthodoxy." T. iii. p. i. Ep. xcii. ad Ital. fyc. 

And St. Epiphanius f declares : < There is a 
king s highway, and that is the Church of God 
and the pathway of Truth, t But each of the 

heresies have left the king s highway and is 

dragged forward into error ; and the shamelessness 
of error knows no limits in every heresy. Come, 
then, ye servants of God and children of the Holy 
Church, ye who are acquainted with the safe rule, 
and are walking in the way of truth, and are not 
dragged from side to side by words, the summons 
of each false sect, for slippery are their ways." 
T. i. Adv. Hares. 

Thus also the Council of Aries, || which asserted 
its right to condemn heretics, on the ground that 
the Church is God s Judge in matters of faith : 
" Whom (the heretics) both the present authority 
of God and the tradition and rule of Truth have 

in such wise repudiated wherefore God, and 

our mother the Church being judge, she who both 

* Yi70Tayrjvat TOV \oinov rrj dvOcvria Trjs ixxXrivi 

f Made Bishop of Salamis, 366. 

| "Ecrrt yap bSog /3affi\iKti, "ins iariv r j TOV Qeov 

$ Ol TOV Kav6va da(f>a\n yivwaKo 
|j Held 314. 



knows and approves her own,* they were either 
condemned or repulsed." .Ep. Syri. Silvestro et 
al fyc. 

And St. Ambrose,t when he says : " Thou art 
in the sight of the world ; let the Church point out 
the way to thee." + 

And St. Jerome, when he exhorts : " Go ye 
not out ; believe not that the Son of Man is either 
in the desert of the Gentiles or in the secret cham 
bers of the heretics ; but that from the east even to 
the west. His faith shines in the Catholic Churches." 
T. vii. I 4, Com. in St. Matt. 

St. Chrysostom || affirms: "He (Christ in the 
passage, Lo, I am with you, fyc.) addresses 
Himself to believers as one body. For tell me 
not, says he, of the difficulty of these things, for J 
am with you, making all things easy." 

And St. Augustine : ^ " For my part, I would 
not believe the Gospel unless the authority of the 
Catholic Church moved me to it."** T. viii 
contr. Manich. 

And Vincentius of Lerins ff says : " Discern the 
truth of Catholic Faith from the falsenesss of 
heretical pravity in two ways, (1) by the 

* duos et Dei nostri pnesens auctoritas, et traditiu ac regula veritatia .... 
judice Deo et inatre ecclesia, quae suos novit et cumprobat. 

f Made Bishop against his will 374. 

J Monstret tibi ecclesia viam. 

$ Wrote about 300. 

|| Made Bishop of Constantinople 398. 

IT Made Coadjutor Bishop of Hippo 395. 

** Ego vero evangelio non credercm, nisi me Catholics ecclesiae commo 
veret auctoritas. 

If Wrote about 435. The great authority among Anglicans. 


authority of the Divine Law ; (2) by the tradition 
of the Catholic Church. Here some one perhaps 
may ask, Seeing that the canon of Scripture is per 
fect and self-sufficient, what need is there that the 
Church s interpretation be joined unto it? The 
reason is, because all men do not take the sacred 
Scripture on account of its profoundness in one 
and the same sense For this cause very neces 
sary it is that We be directed according to 

the rule of the ecclesiastical and Catholic sense." 

We were constrained by these and a host of like 
authorities, and hence the belief that the Church 
of Christ, in a certain sense and to a certain degree, 
had the right to decide in matters of faith. 

But I now asked myself, in what sense and to 
what degree she could hold this right, if not in the 
most unlimited? Where would be my security, if 
her authority to me was not to be considered abso 
lute and final, and hence infallible 1 I saw at once 
that any authority which admitted of my own re 
vision or consent before it took effect, could, in a 
matter of revelation from God, be no authority, and 
hence no guide. And therefore, as I had already 
yielded assent to the judgment of the Catholic 
Church by virtue of her divine commission, I now 
felt myself under the necessity of yielding to her 
without reserve, without question, or doubt. In 
other words, of holding that her judgment in mat 
ters of faith and discipline, when officially given 
through her priesthood, must be distinct and deci- 


sive. That her power was dispensed to her from 
above, to qualify her to be a guide to the blind, 
and " a light to them that sit in darkness." 

But I was a professed teacher and overseer in the 
Church ; and as such, on my own principles, must 
be invested with a portion of the Church s power 
to teach and to guide. This thought, when brought 
seriously to the test, filled me with alarm. I asked 
myself, with what kind of authority I could pro 
claim the truth of God ? Whether I really felt 
myself in a condition to speak positively, that is, 
without shadow of doubt, to the inquiring sinner. 
To declare to one demanding certainty (and who 
should not ?) on vital questions of faith and prac 
tice, this or that view of the matter is infallibly 
true ? Suppose, I said to myself, that such an in 
quirer, impelled by the words of Christ, " He that 
heareth you heareth me," had come to me, with an 
earnest spirit, to know certainly and exactly " what 
he must do to be saved ? " That, convinced by 
the New Testament that he must " believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ," he had come to be informed 
" Who Jesus Christ is, that he might believe on 
Him ? " in what precise relation He stands, not only 
to God the Father by His Divine nature, but also 
to us sinners by His Incarnation, and sufferings, and 
death ? That, convinced by the New Testament 
that he must " be born of water and of the Spirit, 
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to wash 
away his sins," he had come to be informed the 
precise nature and benefits of the duty, what it 


implied in itself? and what it implied in respect to 
the recipient ? What it required of one coming to 
it ? What it did for one submitting to it ? What 
it expected of one blessed by it ? That, con 
vinced by the New Testament of his having 
been made " the temple of the Holy Ghost " in 
baptism, and of his having incurred the awful pun 
ishment of those who " defile " that temple, by 
mortal sin after baptism, he had come to me, and 
now earnestly entreated to know what he must do 
to regain God s favor, and be restored to the bless 
ings he had forfeited by his grievous transgressions ? 
That he w r as assured by the New Testament that 
our Lord, before His ascension, commissioned His 
apostles to teach " every creature " in " all nations," 
giving His promise to be with them to (e the end 
of the world," and sealing that promise by breath 
ing into them the Holy Ghost, and saying to them, 
" Whosesoever sins ye remit they are remitted un 
to them, and whosesoever sins ye retain they are 
retained." And now as he felt himself to be one 
of the creatures to whom the apostles were thus 
sent, he desired and demanded to be explicitly in 
formed what precise benefit he, as a sinner, could 
claim under this commission, and what exact line 
of duty he must pursue to secure it ? That, con 
vinced by the New Testament of being under a 
solemn and weighty obligation " to keep the unity 
of the spirit in the bond of peace, to strive to 
gether for the faith of the Gospel, to obey those 
who are commissioned to watch for souls," he asked 


to be instructed in this great duty, for a knowledge 
of its nature and extent, and how he was to decide 
and to act amid the conflicting claims and diverse 
teachings of this age of strife and apostasy from 
the Faith ? And furthermore, he read in the New 
Testament, that " when Christians were sick, they 
were commanded to send for the elders (or priests) 
of the Church, to pray over them, and anoint them 
with oil in the name of the Lord," in virtue of 
which great blessings were to be expected. And 
now as he contemplated that last fearful scene of 
his life, when approaching death was to put an end 
to his obedience and the use of God s grace on 
earth, he demanded, from the depths of a trem 
bling soul, to know infallibly what he must do in 
respect to this command, which, if not settled now, 
must address itself to him with distracting force on 
his death bed ! Suppose, thought I, all this and 
much more of the like kind should be addressed to 
my awakened and oppressed mind, what, in the name, 
of God, could I answer 1 What could I dare claim, 
or what evince, of that authority implied in a com 
mission to stand before sinners in " Christ s stead" 
and speak to them with unerring certainty, the will 
of Christ in God 1 The thought was confounding ! 
And I turned from myself to those with whom 
I was in visible communion, and I asked, in respect 
to the above questions, if I have not this authority 
to answer in my own person, perhaps I may in 
conjunction with my fellow-bishops and churchmen. 
In our hands the Book of Common Prayer was 


professedly the symbol of our Faith, and the au 
thorized guide in our teaching. But a moment s 
thought convinced me, that on the solemn ques 
tions proposed to me as above, this Book, whatever 
might be its merits, could give no certainty. For 
a moment s thought only was needful to let in upon 
my mind the sorrowful fact of its utter inefficiency 
to produce agreement among the only persons as 
sociated with me and around me, who claimed au 
thority to teach ; inefficiency, not only to pro 
duce agreement, but also to -restrain from mutual 
charges of teaching falsely teaching "another 
Gospel." Under the torturing influence of a 
thought which thus came home to my conscience, 
I could hear myself appealed to from the first age 
of the Church : " Thou, who art seeking, why dost 
thou look to those who are themselves seeking ? 
If the doubtful are led by the doubtful, the unas 
sured by the unassured, the blind by the blind, 
they must needs be led together into the ditch. " j 
And strongly was I moved to obey at once the ap 
peal of another Father : f " There is here a contra 
diction of tongues, divers heresies, divers schisms 
cry aloud : run to the tabernacle of God, and lay 
fast hold of the Catholic Church, and thou shalt be 
protected from the contradiction of tongues."^: 

* Tertullian f St. Augustine. 

J It was at this period, as I was performing my last ordination, that I 
came to the determination never, without entire relief of mind, to repeat it. 
And here let me say, that I had not as yet, had communication of any kind 
with Catholics on the subject of my doubts ; and, furthermore, that I com 
municated the above fact to a member of my Standing Committee before 
leaving my diocese, as he, if called upon, will testify 




IT was now said to me, by way of kind and 
anxious expostulation, and by a very dear friend, 
that at this time of peculiar trial to the Church, 
we must be willing to take part in the suffering, 
must try to be thankful for the blessings which are 
still granted us, be satisfied with a near approxi 
mation to the truth. That the certainty of the 
first age of the Church is not our inheritance. 
But my yearning, desolate heart demanded " WHY ? " 
demanded the proof that Christ s command to " hear 
the Church " was not meant for our day ; and that 
the . Church is not now, as well as at any former 
time, commissioned and expected to give to the in 
quirer, a distinct and certain answer ; to be ready 
to return to those asking " a reason of the hope 
that is in her," an answer that can neither be mis 
taken nor gainsaid. Yes, out of the abundance 
of my own pressing needs I demanded the proof \ 
that the necessity is not now as great as it was in 
the days of the apostles, for certainty in the faith. 
That the wants of mankind are not as urgent in 
their demands now as they were then for the bless 
ing of an infallible guide. That the moral facul 
ties are less blinded, the natural reason less un 
certain, the causes of bewilderment less perplex- 


ing, - the wiles of Satan less artful and ensnaring 
demanded some proof or intimation from God s 
"Word, that the promise of Christ s presence with 
His Church, which by its very terms extends itself 
to the end of the world, could, by any human skill 
or safety, be limited to the age of the apostles. 
That "the gates of hell, which were never to prevail 
against her," could rightly be supposed so to crip 
ple and ^muzzle her, that she could not hold herself 
erect, and speak as a guide to the erring. That 
her "divine powers were to be worn out by time ; 
were to grow feeble and insufficient after the prim 
itive days. That " the pillar and ground of the 
truth," so glorious and trustworthy at first, was in 
the end to become so worn and shattered as not to 
be a sure foundation and defence ; a foundation 
upon which to stand without wavering, a defence 
that could be trusted in every assault. My heart, 
yea, my whole soul, now alive to the value of 
truth, demanded from God s Word) and not from 
mere protestant tradition, some convincing proof,, 
that " the church of the living God " was thus to 
fail in her living, abiding, infallible power to teach. 
For I had been led to a thorough investigation 
into the nature of that power itself, into the ques 
tion, how far it is human and how far divine ; 
and I had perceived the unreasonableness of the 
protestant objection to the infallibility of the 
Church, grounded on the universal fallibility of 
human judgment ; inasmuch as that infallibility- 
was not made to " stand in the wisdom of men, but 


in the power of God" Inasmuch, as the divine 
word did not call upon men to " hear the church," 
because of the superior talent or learning or 
worldly wisdom of her priesthood, (< the wisdom 
of this world " being actually accounted " foolish 
ness with God/ ) but because Christ is in the 
Church by His wisdom, and power, and authority, 
because, as saith St. Ignatius, "Where Christ 
is, there is the Catholic Church," * or because, as 
Origen saith, i f she hath received the light of 
Christ as the moon receives light from the sun," 
or because, as Christ saith, the Holy Ghost was 
sent to abide with the Church, and to lead her 
into all truth, or as St. Irenaeus interprets, 
"where the Church is, there is the Spirit of 
God." f Because, that no matter how exalted in 
point of natural or acquired ability might be her 
chief bishop, or any of her bishops or priests, they 
never rest in the discharge of their functions upon 
their personal qualities or attainments, but solely 
and explicitly upon the gifts of the Holy Ghost 
dispensed to them for their office and work, re 
spectively, in the Church of God. And that, too, 
because they were instructed by God to expect 
these gifts, and place their sole dependence upon 
them. Hence it seemed to me not less unreason 
able to object to the Church s infallibility because 
of the human element in her, than it would be to 
assail the infallibility of our blessed Lord on the 

* EK? /j xaOoXiKr/ iKK\riaia.. 

f Ubi eniin ecclesia, ibi el Spiritus Dei. 


ground of his being "very man." Indeed, I 
asked myself what there was in mere human nature 
at the time of the Apostles, which gave the Church 
then a better security in her unaided or aided judg 
ment, than she possesses now 1 For I well knew 
that the Apostles as men, were not exempt from 
the common infirmities, in both body and mind, of 
human nature ; and that, if it were not for the 
fact, that these infirmities were under the absolute 
control (in their authoritative teaching) of a higher 
power with which they were linked, 110 reasonable 
confidence could be placed in their decisions or 
instructions in the faith. The truth is, I perceived 
that the infallibility of the Church stood then 
where it stands now, IN THE DIVINITY OF HER 
INCARNATE HEAD in the wisdom and power of 
Him who took her nature became her life, and 
united Himself to her in indissoluble and eternal 
bonds in the womb of the ever-blessed Virgin. 
Hence the Church is declared by St. Paul, to be 
His body. "The Church, which is His body." 
The body of which God made flesh is the Head. 
Here, then, thought I, is the Church s security 
against error. Here is the source of her unerring 
knowledge, the ground of her unerring judgment. 
She consults and speaks by her Divine Head. 
His wisdom presides in her councils. His voice 
is heard in her decisions. Her union with Him 
constitutes her vitality. The very nature of this 
union insures her indefectibility no less than per 
petuity. As "the spouse of Christ," I use the 


words of the holy Cyprian, cannot become adul 
terate " (Adulterari non potest sponsa Christ!) 
neither can she cease to exercise her powers. For 
in Him " she lives, and moves, and has her being." 
Her very life is "hid with Christ in God" is 
placed beyond the reach of harm from Satan or 
the world > and must abide in safety so long as 
Christ her ever-living Head abides true to His own- 
nature,, and faithful to His promise, " Lo I ani 
with you all days," and must ever continue to 
speak infallible truth, so long as the everlasting 
God shall continue to make good His imperishable 
words, My Spirit that is upon thee and my 
words which I have put into thy mouth, shall not 
depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of 
thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed s seed 
henceforth and forever." "When the Spirit of 
truth is come HE shall guide you into all truth. 
For He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto 

That my views here were not hasty, and my 
confidence not misplaced, I felt certain, if that can 
be considered mature., which was the settled belief 
of the Fathers ; and well founded, which had been 
their reliance amid the distractions of heresy, and 
the horrors of persecution. 

" For this cause," says St. Ignatius on his way 
to martyrdom, "did our Lord take ointment on 
His head, that He might breathe incorruption upon 

the Church." "Iva nv&rj TTJ ixxlrjaia &<p6aQOlav. 

"The public teaching of the Church," says St, 


IrenaeuSj "is every where uniform and equally 
enduring." And he gives the reason, viz., that 
" our faith is ever kept by the Spirit of God in 
youthful freshness . . . making the vase (or Church) 
wherein it is, seem newly formed."* 

" The Church is impregnable," says Clement of 
Alexandria, because "it is the divine will on earth, 
as it is in heaven." (Strom, lib. iv.) " Our doctrine 
perishes not like human doctrine, nor fades away 
like a feeble gift, for " this reason, " no gift of God 
is powerless, but endures, incapable of being put 
down, though prophesied of that it should be per 
secuted unto the end." Ib. 

"ISTo one can be with Christ," exclaims St. 
Cyprian, " who is not with Christ s spouse," and 
for the reason, that " Christ and His Church are 
united with indissoluble bonds." (Ep. xlix. ad 
Corn.} " The Church is one," says he, " which 
having obtained the grace of eternal life, lives for 
ever, and gives life to the people of God," (Ep. ad 
Quin.) because, nothing can separate the Church 
from Christ." (Ep. CceciL) " She it is that alone 
holds and possesses the whole pow r er of her spouse 
and Lord." (Ep. Ixxiii. ad Jubaien.) Thus " the 
spouse of Christ is undefiled and chaste, and can 
not become an adulteress." (De Unit ate.) " The 
. Church which is Catholic and one, is not rent nor 
divided, but is indeed connected together and knit 

* . . Quam perceptam ab ecclesia cnstodimus, et quae semper a Spiritu Dei, 
qua^i in vase bonoeximium quoddam depo.situm juvenescens, et juvenesceie 
laciens ipsum vas in quo est. Adv. Hares. Lib. lib. iii. c. 24. 



by the cement of priests, cleaving to each other."* 
And as the reason, "Consider," says he, "the 
majesty of God who ordains priests . . . and have 
respect to Christ, who, by His will and fiat, and 
His OWN PRESENCE, governs both the prelates them 
selves and the Church with the prelates." (Ep. 

Ixix. ad Pupian.) 

"Which great and everlasting temple (the 
Church)," declares Lactantius, " because Christ is 
the builder, must have therein an everlasting priest 
hood." (Divin. List. lib. iv.) 

"Christ foretold," says Eusebius, "that the 
Church, which, during the years of His sojourning 
among men, was not seen nor established, should 
be invincible, incapable of overthrow, ^TTIJTOV ** 
ctxaTupuzqTov eueodta. For the reason, that "the 
God-word dwells in the midst of His Church," &c. 

l Ev ^eico yag rr^g exxlqcrias tov Qeov loyov xocTaaxiji ovi , 

&c. (Dem. Evang. lib. v.) 

" The Church of Christ," says St. Athanasius, 
" shall be refulgent, and enlighten all under heaven, 
and be as abiding as the sun and the moon. For 
this passage says so < and His throne as the sun 
before me, and as the moon perfect forever, and 
a faithful witness in heaven. " For "the throne, 
here," he continues, " is Christ s throne, the Church, 
for in it He rests." (Expos, in Ps. Ixxxviii.) 

" Thou hast built a Church on earth," says St. 

* Quando ecclesia, quae Catholica ct nna est, scissa non sit neque divisa, sed 
situtique connexaet coluerentium sibi in vicem sacerdotiun glutino copulata 


Ephraem,* " which resembles the Church in heaven ; 
its foundations love impelled Thee to lay, while 
grace presided at its completion. Thou hast also 
taken it as Thy spouse and made it Thine by the 
price of Thy blood. Therefore, O Lord, Thou 
wilt guard it under Thy protection that the gates 
of hell prevail not against it." (T. iii. *Syr.) 

" She " (the Church), says St. Ambrose, " may 
be overcast with clouds, but fail she cannot. 
(Obumbrari potest, defaere non potest.) ..... The 
moon, in her monthly .changes, seems to quench 
her light, that she may borrow from the sun. 
While others are shipwrecked, she looks on, her 
self free and exempt from danger (ipsa immunis et 
exors periculi). Always prepared to have Christ s 
light shine upon her, and to derive gladness from 
it." (T. i. De Abr. lib. ii.) 

" We may understand," says St. Jerome, " that 
even to the end of the world the Church may 
indeed be shaken by persecutions, but never can 
be overthrown. Because the Lord God Almighty 
is the Lord God of the Church, who hath promised 
to do this ; and His promise is nature s law." 
(Cujus promissio lex naturae est.) 

" Nothing," reiterates St. Chrysostom, time 
after time, " nothing is equal to the Church. Tell 
me not of walls and arms ; for walls grow old, but 
the Church never grows old, f t texlqala di ovdenoie 
j^a, walls barbarians destroy, the Church not even 

* A Greek, ordained as is said, by St. Basil, and praised for his excellency 
Dy St. Jerome, wrote about 350. 


demons can overcome. No thing is stronger than the 

Church. Ov8iv yuQ exxhjalug lcr%vQOTQov. If tl lOU 

war against the Church, it is impossible for thee to 
conquer, TVtx/yerat as tiufyuvov. WHY? for GOD is 
stronger than all men. GOD hath rooted her, who 
will attempt to shake her ? For this cause, the 
Scripture showing her firmness and immovable- 
ness, calls her a mountain her incorruptibility calls 
her a virgin, To acp-Ooyov, i5r*?y xtdcd xaoOevov, her mag 
nificence calls her a queen that connection which 
she has with God calls her a daughter," &c. (T. iii. 
p. 391.) "Do I confide in my own strength ? I 
have His (Christ s) pledge I hold His written 
Word. That is my staff that my security. What 
are these words ? ( I am with you all days even to 
the consummation of the world. . . There man 
is the pilot, but here (in the Church) it is Christ. 
Therefore the vessel, though tossed by the tempest, 
is not overwhelmed." (T. vi. in Is. c. ii.) 

With such ground upon which to stand, I felt 
that my confidence was neither unreasonable nor 
likely to fail. Was not unreasonable, because, in 
yielding to the Church as infallible, I was not 
called upon to bow to man but to GOD. Nor likely 
to fail, for the same reason viz., that I was cast 
for guidance, not upon any human wisdom in the 
Church, but solely upon the wisdom of her divine 
Head. Upon the GOD-MAX, who had so loved the 
Church as to purchase her with His blood take 
her to Himself as His spouse and promise her 
His presence and protection to t ] e end of the 


world. Notwithstanding, therefore, the confusion 
and darkness that were around me, I did not de 
spair of being yet led by a clear light and harmo 
nious voice into the way of life and peace. 



ANOTHER feature, however, in the same plea, 
was here presented, and by the same friend. He 
urged that the darkness and confusion among Prot 
estants, of which I complained, must be regarded 
as consistent with the promise of Christ s presence 
with His Church ; inasmuch as this state of things 
had been foretold in the New Testament, .as the 
characteristic and trial of the Church s latter days. 
In directing my thoughts to this plea, it became at 
once obvious, that while the finger of prophecy 
pointed to a kind of confusion in the bosom of the 
Church, it was not such as I realized in the com 
munion of which I was a bishop. It was not such 
disorder as would confound the Church itself 
stifle within her the heart of charity and the voice 
of truth but such as would throw off from her 
body some of her unruly sons, leaving them ran 
kling with the gall of bitterness, and bewildered 
by a confusion of tongues. That the prediction 
was hence designed, not to foreshadow to the eyes 


of tlie faithful a disheartening picture of a divided 
Church but to hold up, as a beacon to the self- 
willed and the turbulent, the awful curse which 
must follow a separation from the ".one body of 
Christ." Certainly, St. Cyprian viewed the matter 
in this light : " It ought not to move any faithful 
person," says he, "who remembers the injunctions 
of the Apostle, how he forewarns us that in the last 
times certain proud persons, both contumacious 
and enemies to the priests of God, either withdraw 
from the Church or act against the Church, when 
both the Lord and His Apostles have foretold that 
such should now be. . . They, therefore, who 
have departed or may depart from the Church 
perish by their own fault, but the Church herself 
who believes in Christ, never departs from Him at 
all ; and they are the Church who persevere: in. the 
house .of God (Nunquam ab eo omnino discedere, 
et eos esse ecclesiam, qui in domo Dei permanent.) 
But they are not the plant planted by God 
the Father, who we see are not rooted with the 
firmness of wheat, but are blown about like chaff . . . 
of whom also St. John says, -They went out from 
us, but they were not of us. ..or they would have 
remained with us. Also St. Paul admonishes us 
not to be moved when the wicked perish from the 
Church, and that faith is not lessened by the with 
drawal of the faithless. ( For what, says he, if 
some of them have fallen from the faith? Has 
their unbelief made the faith of God without effect ? 
God forbid. For God is true, but every man a 


liar. " (Ep. iv. ad Cornel) And again, "The 
Holy Spirit forewarns us by the Apostle and says, 
There must be heresies, that they who are ap 
proved may be manifest amongst us. Thus are 
the faithful approved, thus the faithless detected ; 
and thus even here, before the day of judgment, 
the souls of the righteous are separated from the 
unrighteous the wheat from the chaff." (jDe 

And, St. Jerome viewed the matter in the 
same light : " We may understand," says he, " that 
even to the end of the world the Church may be 
indeed shaken by persecution, but never can be 
overthrown." ( T. vi. lib. iii.) " The gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it. I consider the gates 
of hell to be vices and sin, or certainly the doctrines 
of heretics, by which men are enticed and led to 
hell." (T. vii. lib. iii.) 

And St. Ambrose : " As pure gold, so also the 
Church," says he, " when tried in the fire suffers 
no loss, but its brightness is rather increased, until 
the time when Christ shall come unto His kingdom, 
and recline His head on the faith of His Church." 
(T. i. in Ps. xi.) 

St. Chrysostom, after dwelling upon the promise 
of Christ to His Church, < The gates of hell shall 
not prevail against it, which he looks upon as a 
sure prophecy, says, "Come, let us take in 
hand still another prophecy which shines brighter 
than the sun, and is clearer than its rays, which 
lies under the observation of all men, and which 


stretches out itself unto all future generations, as 
does trie preceding prophecy also... Yea, for from 
the day that it was spoken, even to the consumma 
tion of the world, has it remained firm and un 
shaken gaming power day by day acquiring 
fresh force, enabling all those who have lived from 
that day, even unto those who shall be until the 
coming of Christ, to reap the greatest advantages 
from it, and to derive thence unspeakable aid. 
For our predecessors and theirs and theirs again, 
will know its power, as they behold the contests 
excited against it, the dangers and troubles, 
the tumults, and waves and storms ; but beholding 
it, still not overwhelmed, nor vanquished, not over 
come, not extinguished, but flourishing, increasing, 
raised to a mightier elevation." (T. i. Cont. Jud. 
et Gent.) 

And St. Augustine : " There are some," says he, 
"who say, she that was the Church of all nations is 
already no more ; she has perished. This they 
say who are not in her. The impudent assertion ! 
Is she no more because thou art not in her ? Look 
to it lest thou, for that cause, be no more. For 
she will be though thou be not. (0 impudeiitem 
vocem ! Ilia 11011 est, quia tu in ilia non cs ? Ilia 
erit, etsi tu non sis.) This assertion full of pre 
sumption and falsehood, upheld by 110 truth, with 
out one spark of wisdom the Spirit of God 

foresaw, and as it were, struck at such when He 
announced UNITY .... Therefore, even to the end 
of the world is the Church in all nations," Sec. 
(T. iv. in Ps. c. i.) 


And Theodorct exclaims, " Why contend ye lofty 
mountains, against the mountain on which the Lord 
desired to sit ? " (Ps. Ixiii.) The prophetic word is 
directed against the Jews, and the unlawful con 
venticles of heretics who call themselves Churches ; 
and it says, " Why do ye lift up yourselves to con 
tend and equal yourselves with the mountain, which 
God hath made His dwelling-place ? For there the 
Lord shall dwell unto the end: for not as He 
dwelt with you, O Jews, for a certain fixed time, 
so shall He abide therein ; but He shall have in 
this an everlasting habitation. For this is de 
clared by that word unto the end." (T. i. in Ps. 

Certainly these Fathers, with the whole blessed 
company of martyrs and confessors, understood the 
prophecies relating to the "latter days," as I had 
understood them. Is it possible, then, I thought, 
that such glowing and confident anticipations, 
based upon the abiding love and promise of God, 
could fail? That faith, and hope, and charity 
thus inspired to pray, and suffer, and toil, and 
endure unto the end, could in the Qnd be rewarded 
with disappointment? That He who said, "and 
I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me," 
would find that, ere all men could be reached, the 
cross must yield the gates of hell must be trium 
phant ! That " He who so loved the Church as 
to give Himself for it, that He might sanctify and 
cleanse it, and make it to Himself a glorious 
Church," would finally be driven to the confession, 


that the work He had imdertaken, was an over 
match for His mighty power ! That He, who said 
to His people in the beginning : " Be of good cheer, 
I have overcome the world/ would before the end, 
be compelled to retract His words ; though " to 
give strong consolation, He had confirmed them 
with an oath swearing by Himself, because He 
could swear by none greater ! " To me the thought 
was impiously absurd ; all the divine attributes 
were against it ; as all seemed pledged to secure 
the hopes of the faithful ! 



THE plea that a divided and distracted Church 
is contemplated and foreshadowed by Christian 
prophecy, " The Holy Spirit," says St. Augustine, 
"foresaw and struck at, when He announced 
UNITY." And so it had seemed to me. For how 
is it possible, I thought, to conceive unity to exist 
amid the turmoil and dissension of the so-called 
"Christian world 1 ]" I mean such unity as God s 
word requires such unity as is set forth in the 
New Testament under the striking figures, of 
" branches " engrafted in Christ ff the Vine," " a 
body," of which Christ is < the head," "a virgin " 
espoused to " Christ as the husband," " a house," 


of which Christ is the Master, "a temple/ of 
which Christ is "the Priest," "a kingdom,," of 
which Christ is "Ruler," "a light," of which 
Christ is " the fountain," " a well of living water," 
of which Christ is " the spring." For how, I thought, 
can branches of the same vine be so separated 
as to have no mutual visible connection, and still 
live together in the vine ? How can members of 
the same body be so disunited as to lose all exter 
nal communion, and still have a vital union with 
" the head ? " How can a virgin espoused to " one 
Lord," be seen wandering after " divers lusts and 
pleasures," and still be regarded as a true and faithful 
spouse ? How can a "house divided against itself" 
continue to stand ? How can " a temple," with no 
priest nor sacrifice, be one with " the temple " of 
Christ s body, which has both priest and sacrifice ? 
How can a kingdom with its different parts at war 
fail to " be brought to desolation ? " How can rays 
from the same sun possibly be at variance in their 
natures ? Water from the same fountain be both 
sweet and bitter ? "A House divided against 
itself" not fail? How then can the truth that 
" we are one body in Christ and every one mem 
bers one of another," consist with opposing creeds, 
and altars, and mutual charges of damnable 
heresy ? Do such things agree with that unity for 
which our Lord so earnestly prayed ? A unity 
where the same fellowship should bind together the 
several members of His body, as made Himself and 
His Eternal Father One 1 Or are we driven to the 


fearful alternative that that prayer failed ? And 
that that suppliant is not to " see of the travail of 
His soul and be satisfied ? " If so, thought I, how 
blinded must have been St. Clement of Rome! 
" Have we not one God, and one Christ, and one 
Spirit of grace poured out upon us, and one calling 
in Christ ? Do we raise a sedition against our own 
body ? Come to such a height of folly as to forget 
that we are members one of another 1 Remember 
the words of our own Lord Jesus how He said, " Woe 
to that man, it were better that he had never been 
born; better that a millstone had been placed 
around his neck and he cast into the sea, than 
that he should scandalize any of my elect one of 
my little ones ! " (Ep. 1 ad Cor.) 

How blinded must have been St. Ignatius ! 
"Where division is. . .God dwelleth not. Be not 
deceived, whosoever followeth one that createth 
schism, he inheriteth not the kingdom of God." 
(Ep. ad Philad.) 

How blinded St. Justin ! " The word of God is 
addressed to believers, as being one Church, one 
synagogue, ONE SOUL." (Dial cum Tryph.) 

And St. Cyprian ! " The Church cannot be 
separated or divided against itself, but preserves 
the unity of an inseparable and undivided house. 
.... The very sacrifices of our Lord show forth 
Christian unanimity, knit together by a firm 
and inseparable charity. For when the Lord 
calls bread, formed from the union of many grains, 
His body, He indicates one people united together 


And when He calls wine, which is made out of 
many clusters of grapes, and is incorporated into 
one, His blood, He signifies one flock joined to 
gether by the admixture of a united multitude. 
Besides, because Christ s people cannot be rent, 
His tunic, woven and conjoined throughout, was 
not divided by those to whom it fell. Individual, 
conjoined, co-entwined, it shows the coherent con 
cord of the people who have put on Christ. In 
the sacrament and sign of His garment He has 
declared the unity of His Church . . . The Lord says, 
I and the Father are one ; and again, of the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it is written, 
these three are one. And does any one believe 
that this unity, thus proceeding from the divine 
immutability, (Hanc unitatem de divina firmitate 
venientem,) and cohering in heavenly Sacraments, 
can be rent asunder in the Church, and be split by 
the force of antagonist wills ? HE WHO HOLDS NOT 


NOT LIFE AND SALVATION ! (Hanc unitatem qui non 
tenet, Dei legem non tenet, 11011 tenet Patris et 
Filii fidem, vitam et salutem non tenet.) There is 
one God and one Christ, and His Church is one, 
and the faith one, and the people one, joined into 
the unity of one body by the cement of concord. 
(Plebs una in solidam corporis unitatem concordire 
glutino copulata.) Unity cannot be sundered, nor 
the one body be separated by the dislocation of its 
points, (Scindi unitas non potest, nee corpus uiium 


discidio compaginis separari,) nor torn in pieces by 
the rending apart of its vitals, (Divulsis lacera- 
tione visceribus in frusta discerpi ;) whatever is 
parted from the womb cannot live and breathe in a 
state of separation ; it loses the principle of its 
subsistence. (Substantial!! salutis amittit.)" 

How blinded must have been the blessed Leo ! 
" In unity of faith and baptism is our fellowship 
undivided. Unless faith, be one it is no faith. 
For St. Paul says, One Lord, one faith, one bap 
tism. " (Ser. xxiv. in Nat. Dom.) 

If blinded in respect to the nature of Church 
unity, equally so must they have been as regards 
its universality. If that unity be consistent with 
national divisions and national " independence " in 
regard to the faith ; what means St. Irenseus when 
he declares, "that the Church, though spread 
over the whole world, (xado)^g IT { - outoutrys) hav 
ing received the faith. . .guards it sedulously, as 
though dwelling in one house ? ( c /2c %a ehov olxov- 
o-tt.) And these truths she uniformly holds as 
having but one soul, and one and the same heart, 
and these she proclaims, and teaches, and hands 
down uniformly, as though she had but one mouth 
For though, throughout the world the languages 
are various, still the force of the tradition is one 
and the same. (JI di va^tg iv ( ; nagctd&aews fiia xu.l ^ 
avir^ As God s handiwork the sun is one and the 
same throughout the universe, so the preaching of 
the truth shines every where, and enlightens all 
men that wish to come to a knowledge of the truth 


. . .The whole Church has one arid the same faith 
throughout the whole world." (Adv. Hares, lib. i. 


What means Tertullian ? " The Apostles. . .went 
forth into the whole world and promulgated the 
same doctrine of the same faith to the nations. . . 
Thenceforward other Churches borrowed the tra 
dition of the faith and the seeds of doctrine. . .The 
whole kind must needs be classed under their 
original. Whence these Churches, so many and 
so great, are but that one primitive Church from 
the Apostles. . .Thus all are the primitive, and all 
apostolic, while all being one prove unity." (De 
Prcescr. n. 20.) What means, too, the Alexan 
drian Clement ? " The excellence of the Church 
like the principle of every thing concrete, is in 
unity. . .having nothing similar or equal to itself." 
(xal pi] Sty ^/ovcra Ofioiov r^ laov wvr?f.) (StrOttl. 
lib. vi.) 

What the learned Origen ? " Christians are not 
one nation, but out of all nations, one people ; and, 
therefore, did Moses, as the highest honor, desig 
nate them as not a nation, but if the expression 
be allowable a nation of all nations. 1 (T. iv. 
lib. viii.) 

What, too, St. Cyprian, by declaring and so often 
reiterating the necessary universality of unity in 
the Church ? " For we are many shepherds, yet 
do we feed but one floclc." (Etsi pastores muld 
gumus, unuin tameii gregem pascimus.) 

"The episcopate is one, a part of which, in con- 


sistency with its entire oneness, is held by each 
bishop. (Episcopatus unus est, cujus a singulis in 
solidum pars tenetur.) * The Church, too, is one, 
though extended far and wide. . .As the sun has 
many rays, yet one light. And the tree many 
branches, though one strength, resting upon its 
firmly clinging root. And as when many streams 
flow down from one fountain-head. . .yet is unity 
preserved in the common source. Part a ray of 
the sun from its orb, this division the unity allows 
not ; break a branch from the tree, and it can bud 
no more : cut a stream from its source, and the 
remnant dries up." (De Unitate.) 

"What means St. Gregory of Nyssa ? et The 
whole Church is the one body of Christ. Ev a(5 t ua 
iov X^ugou ^ Exxlr t aia Tcnua. . ."Whoso has learnt that 
Christ is the head of the Church, let him, before 
all things, bear this in mind, that the head is ever 
of the same nature and substance as the body be 
neath it. And that there is a certain coherence of 
each of the limbs with the whole." (T. iii. De 
Perf. Chris.) 

What St. Chrysostoni ? He (St. Paul) calls it 
the Church of GOD, showing the necessity of its 
unity. For if it be of God, it is united, and is 
one, not in Corinth only, but in the whole world. 
. . .The Church that is among you is a part of the 
Church spread every where, arid of the body t- at 

* I have ventured, though with a good deal of self-distrust, to differ in my 
translation of this passage, both from the Rev. Mr. Wiiterworth, whom 1 have 
generally followed, and the Oxford translation, which seems to me less fail 
in this instance than in most others. 


is constituted by means of all the Churches ; so 
that not only with each other, but also with all the 
Church throughout the world must you have peace, 
if at least ye be members of the w T hole body. 1 H 
ixxkijaia i] itaQ ii^iv /neQog i$i rr^g TIUVTOC^OV xi/itet>i]g 
ey,xlr t (nag . ... fit ^e TCUVI&Z icrid fashy tov a^uaiog. 
(T. x. Horn, xxxii.) 

What means the great St. Augustine ? " The 
Apostle says, (1 Cor. xiii.) ( If I have faith so that 
I could remove mountains, and have not charity* 
&c. We have, therefore, to inquire, who have 
charity ? You will find that it is they alone who 
love unity. And as we are inquiring where the 
Church of Christ is, let us hear Him who redeemed 
it with His own blood, declaring : ( Ye shall be 
witnesses unto me. . .to the uttermost part of the 
earth. With this Church, which is diffused through 
out the whole earth, whoso communicates not, with 
ivhom he communicates not, thou seest, if thou dost 
but understand whose words these are. (Huic ec- 
clesia?, qua? per totam terrain diffunditur, quisquis 
non communicat, cui noil communicet vides. . .) 
That Church assuredly is ONE, which our ancestors 
called the Catholic, that they might show by the 
name itself that it is throughout the whole world, 
For throughout the whole is expressed in Greek 
by %u66).o> . But this Church is the body of Christ, 
as the Apostle says, His body which is the Church. 
Whence assuredly it is manifest that he who is not 
among the members of Christ cannot have Chris 
tian salvation. Now the members of Christ are 


united to each other by the charity of unity, and 
by the same cohere to their own head, which is 
Jesus Christ." (De Unitate, fyc.) 

Here, thought I, there can be 110 mistake, no 
misconception. Such wisdom cannot be blind. 
Such cautious piety cannot mistake. Such weight 
of authority cannot be questioned ! The necessity 
of strict, visible unity, such unity as, both from 
its nature and universality, does not and cannot 
exist among protestants, must be preserved, or 
death be the consequence to the separating party ! 
And what a consequence ! The holy Irenseus real 
ized it when he said : " No Reformation of theirs 
can be so advantageous, as the evil of schism is 

pernicious I " [ Ovde t uia de TijlixaviT] dvvarai, 
&VTOV xcnoydaxng ysviaOai, fyixy TOU a%icr[*aTO$ 
fiafa] Adv. H<zr. 1. iv. Those two great lights 
of the Church, St. Cyprian and St. Augustine, 
felt it when they said, by way of warning, " He 
who holds not this unity, holds not life and salva 
tion /. . .He who is not thus in the members of 
Christ, cannot have Christian salvation ! " And 
again : " Who is the criminal, the traitor, who so 
inflamed with the madness of discord, as to think 
aught can rend, or as to venture on rending, God s 
unity, the Church of Christ ?. . .Thinkest thou any 
can stand and live that withdraws from the Church, 
and forms for himself other resting-places and 
homes 1 " (Stare tu et vivere putas posse de eccle- 
sia recedentem, sedes sibi alias, et diyersa domicilia 
condentem.) (De Unitate.) 


When I meditated, therefore, upon these warn 
ings, coming up from the very centre, as it were, of 
God s power in the Church, urging to unity, and 
crying aloud against schism as the sure token of 
God s desertion and our coming destruction, en 
treating us not to rend the body of Christ, lest we 
open the earth under our feet, I entreated still more 
fervently that God would lead me without delay to 
a place of safety ; for I began to realize, with aw 
ful clearness, that I had little safety where I stood. 
For, when I asked for certain knowledge of God s 
will, I heard around me only " confusion of 
tongues." When I asked for authority, I found 
only individual opinion ; for infallibility, a con 
fession of doubt ; - for unity in fundamental faith, 
division and mutual crimination ; no claim to 
universality, and no agreement even in the narrow 
est sectarianism ! But when I turned my ear, and 
listened to the voice of the Fathers, echoing the 
voice of God, I heard clearness and positiveness of 
speech, heard the assertion in the Church of 
divine authority, Catholicity, infallibility, and ne 
cessary, abiding unity ! "What should I do ? Of 
one thing I felt certain, that " Faith cometh by 
hearing, and hearing by the word of God ; " and 
that the word of God was not to be learned from 
teachers, the truth of whose teaching depended 
upon the judgment of man ! I had made an ad 
vance, had come to the conviction that no reality, 
no certainty was to be attained in my present posi 
tion ! But with this conviction, thanks be to God. 


I had arrived at another, viz., that such reality and 
certainty were yet within my reach. I determined, 
by God s help, to go forward, if perchance I might 
secure them 1 



THUS far, I assure my friends, I had had no in 
tercourse with any living Catholic. My study had 
been the Fathers, with Protestant interpretations. 
Indeed, the editions of both Greek and Latin Fa 
thers which I consulted, were such as had been rec 
ommended to me by Protestants, and had been in 
my library for at least fifteen years. While my 
companions and prompters were, as far as I con 
sulted them, a]l of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
it is a matter of thankfulness, which I ought here 
to record, that I have been, able, through the kind 
ness of various friends, to obtain all the books as 
matters of reference in writing now, to which God s 
providence directed me in originally examining 
the questions. And, as argument after argument 
seemed to fade before my mind, some of them be 
set me with entreaties ; begged me to review the 
Anglican claims, to contrast them in the light of 
history and charity with all others, and especially 
with those of Catholics ; and to see if something 
could not be done to silence discord and settle truth, 


through the instrumentality of a " Provincial Coun 
cil," connected with the revival of the Anglican 
" Convocation." I consented, even at this point, to 
reconsider the capability of the Anglican Church to 
give me relief; to search anew, among Anglican 
pretensions, for some possible ground upon which 
helpless man, commanded by Almighty God to 
" hear the Church," and destined to give an ac 
count to Him for failing in obedience, might stand 
in safety. But I felt bound to penetrate, if pos 
sible, to the very root of this question ; to in 
quire, first of all, into the right, which, upon prin 
ciples long since settled, the Anglican communion, 
and hence all communions growing out of it, could 
reasonably have, to claim even my attention; what 
possible authority, based as it must be upon mere 
national prerogative, they could have to present 
themselves as a court of the last appeal in religion ? 
To attempt even to decide for me, or any other 
man, the questions that pressed themselves upon 
my conscience, questions involving the very es 
sence of Christian faith and practice demanded, 
from their very nature, an infallible power. I 
turned to England, the source of all ecclesiastical 
or priestly authority to which I could lay claim. 
And what was the confession of the first voice that 
I heard on this subject ? Alas ! that the Anglican 
Church distinctly disclaimed all authority in reli 
gion as an infallible judge ; distinctly disclaimed 
any such connection with God as would enable it to 


act as an infallible propounder or interpreter of 
God s infallible will!* 

Here I found myself arrested as by some magic 
influence ! A voice from above thundered in my 
ear : " Cursed is the man that trusteth in man I " 
(Jer. xvii. 5.) What but trusting in man, thought 
I, is it, to lean upon any judgment in matters of 
faith, short of the infallible judgment of Almighty 
God ! What but trusting in man, to give heed to 
the counsels of a Church, which proclaims itself 
controlled, in any degree in its decisions, by the 
imperfections of man ! 

Here I stand, I thought, an utterly dependent 
creature, commanded by Almighty God to believe 
and do certain things to save myself from His 
righteous judgments. He assures me that He has 
commissioned a messenger to act in His stead, and 
tell me what these things ARE. A messenger pre 
sents himself. But his first word is, I am not sure 
that I can give you exactly and infallibly (indeed I 
am sure I cannot) the requirements of your Sov 
ereign. Ought I to trust him ? Ought I to listen 
for a moment to his word ? Ought I not at once, 
and out of due respect to the love, and wisdom, 
and veracity of that Sovereign, to turn from such 
a one as a deceiver ? as guilty of the strange pre- 

* I here mean, that tho whole Reformation was not only conducted on the 
principle that the Church is fallible, and that one of the thirty-nine articles 
declares this of her highest court of appeal, a General Council, but also, that 
in reference to all the solemn questions which I have supposed above ad 
dressed to myself, there would be an unhesitating acknowledgment on th 
part of all her great living teachers of fallible judgment. 


sumption of asserting, at one moment, his commis 
sion from GOD to " teach " God s infallible will, 
and then at the very next, of confessing his ina 
bility to do it : or, what is the same thing, to do it 
with inevitable truth and certainty ? to do it, not 
only, as some plead, with a reasonable precision in 
essential points, but, as I have already shown to be 
necessary, with a precision excluding all doubt in 
every point of faith and practice on which God has 
condescended to speak to man. 



BUT, had not Anglican authority been vitiated 
in my view by its acknowledged fallibility, another 
admitted fact seemed an effectual bar to its legiti 
mate exercise. According to God s Word inter 
preted by primitive antiquity, I had already seen 
that God s Church is essentially Catholic ; not re 
stricted either in her privileges or prerogatives to 
any one nation, but made up of believers gathered 
out of all nations. " OUT OF ALL NATIONS," as 
saith Origen, " ONE PEOPLE." That her commis 
sion was to " teach all nations." The promised 
presence of her Divine Head was, " Lo, I am with 
you [in her teaching all nations,] all days to the 
end of the world." That her constitution was, 
ft One body in Christ, and every one members one 


of another." That her binding, her divinely en 
joined rule was, " Be of one mind, speak the 
same things. Mark them that make divisions con 
trary to the doctrine you have received, and avoid 
them." That her motto was,- that is to be taught 
and held " which hath been believed every ivhere, 
always and by all men." [Id teneamus, quod ubi- 
que, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est] 
Vincentius. And that her symbol was, " One 
Catholic and Apostolic Church ! " Now with this 
truth before me, and with the admission of the 
Anglican communion itself, that it constituted but 
a part, and comparatively a small part, of this 
Catholic Church, I saw that communion confidently 
taking the seat of supreme dictator, and against 
the settled faith of all other Christian nations, pre 
suming, in the awful name of God, to proclaim to 
mankind < what they must do to be saved " ! 

This marvellous assumption of authority, (though 
it strongly reminded me of something quite like it 
in an early century,) forced from me the involun 
tary exclamation, " Whence could it possibly have 
arisen ? " What plausible pretext even, on any 
principle hitherto received by the body of Christ, 
could be pleaded in its justification ? In casting 
my eye over the field of conjecture, I asked myself, 
"Has England at any time been favoreM with 
special revelations from God, exempting her from 
the obligations which had hitherto rested upon her 
sons and daughters to < hear the Church, the One, 
Holy, Catholic Church ; to observe the injunction, 


< Obey them that have the rule over you, and sub 
mit yourselves ? Did England receive the depo- 
situm of the Faith directly from God, with some 
special commission, independent of the authority 
of the Christians of other nations, to publish it to 
the rest of the world, and instruct them how it was 
to be understood? In other language, < Did the 
word of God go out from them, or came it unto 
them, with directions how to put it in practice ? " 
It was asserted, I know, that that word was 
brought to England by the hand of an Apostle, and 
hence by a distinct and independent power of the 
Apostolate ! Suppose the fact of history admitted, 
how, I inquired, does the inference follow ? How 
does that inference, the idea of distinct and in 
dependent apostolic powers touching the faith, 
agree with what we have seen to be the teaching of 
the Apostles, " One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism," 
&c ? How does it agree with the practice of the 
Apostles, as indicated in the first Council of Jeru 
salem ? It was pleaded, that soon after the Apos 
tles, a different custom seems to have prevailed. 
That each Diocese or Patriarchate was allowed to 
hold councils of its own, to settle its own religious 
disputes. This, I saw, was to a certain extent true. 
But I saw that it was true also, that when such dis 
putes involved questions of general interest, or 
threatened, by the violence and pertinacity of the 
disputants, the general peace, resort was had to the 
judgment and decision of the universal Church (as 
in the cases of Arius and others,) and that when 


this decision was once had,, the matter of dispute 
was regarded by all true Catholics as infallibly and 
hence finally determined. And further, that no 
decision by a nation or body less than the whole 
Catholic Church, was felt to be inevitably binding, 
except as such decision had in some way been con 
curred in by the whole Catholic Church ; and in 
case it was made against the already declared 
judgment of the whole Church, it was at once 
either appealed from or rejected as an act of schism. 
As, therefore, the decisions of the English parlia 
ment at the Reformation, which determined the po 
sition of the Anglican communion, were to my 
mind, as I shall show hereafter, of this latter char 
acter, I did not see how I could reasonably claim 
to be a Catholic, and still consent to act under them. 




WAVING, for the time, the question of England s 
independent authority in matters of faith, I was 
here constrained to ask, at what period in the his 
tory of that authority are we to trust it as a suffi 
cient guide to eternal life ? * At a period before 
or after the Reformation ? The question is rea- 

* See Bramhall, " Answer to Bishop ct Chalcedon." Dr. Hook s Sermon 
" Hear the Church." Palmer s " Treatise on the Church," &c. 


sonable. For she maintains in the person of her 
most eminent divines,, that she is identically the 
same Church now that she was prior to that memo 
rable event. And, if she was commissioned by 
Christ and sustained in the work of her commis 
sion by Christ s presence, promised to His Church 
for all days, she must have had, at least, as good a 
claim to our confidence before the Reformation 
while she was yet in communion with the Catholic 
Church, as she had after that event, when she 
was in a state of separation from all other parts of 
Christ s body.* The question, therefore, was still 
pressed. At which of these periods are we to ad 
mit her divine authority to " teach " and direct us ? 
To dictate our faith and exact our submission ? 

* Let me call attention to a few words more on this point, even at the risk 
of being thought importunate. For upon it depends the whole force of the 
argument. Why, then, does England claim to be heard as the Ckurch 1 Upon 
what does she rely as the source of her authority 1 What does she plead with 
the Puritan or Methodist as a reason why she should be listened to rather than 
other Christian bodies, as the teaching authority in that country ? Is it her pre 
eminent purity of doctrine, or superior holiness of life, or priority in point of 
age, or any thing which had its origin in Hit gland 1 Certainly not. On the 
contrary it is, according to her own principles, that she was made by Christ 
in Judea, the pillar and ground of the truth, received authority from Him, as 
Head of the One, Catholic Church, as Head, not of the Church of England, but 
the Church of the whole ID or id ; authority to declare what is pure doctrine; an 
authority secured to her by the promise of Christ s perpetual presence, ac 
cording to the principle of Dr. Hook, from the moment she received it to the 
end of the world, and hence an authority which could never change, never 
vary, but from its very nature must have been one and the same every day, 
and hour, and moment since it was bestowed. An authority, then, I repeat, 
which was certainly as good when held before the Reformation in conjunction 
with the whole Catholic Church of Christ, on which it was at first conferred, 
as after the Reformation, when in a state of separation from that body ; and 
hence an authority which had as good a right before the Reformation to pro 
nounce its doctrines pure as after that event. So that its judgment before 
declaring it pure is as trustworthy at least as its judgment after declaring it 


Are we to admit that authority when she taught 
that the Pope is supreme head of the Church ? or 
when she taught that the king is ? When she 
taught seven sacraments in the Church ? or when 
she taught that there are only tu-o 1 When she 
held Transubstajitiation, or when she pronounced 
it " repugnant to the plain icords of Scripture ? " * 
"When she held " the Sacrifice of the Mass for the 
living and the dead " as a blessed privilege ; or 
when she cast it away as " a blasphemous fable ? " 
But my heart almost dies within me at the recol 
lection of this dreadful change, and I forbear ; re 
stricting my inquiries to the three centuries and 
more since it was brought about. And I ask, as I 
did, when this point was under examination, at 
what period in these centuries may we rely for 
spiritual guidance upon the judgment of the An 
glican Communion ? 

Are we to rely upon that judgment, when in 
1534, by the voice of Parliament, she declared 
that the Bishop of Rome had no jurisdiction ovei 
the Church of England, and that the king wa? 
rightfully her supreme head? or when, in 1536^ 
by the voice of her Convocation at York, she de 
clared : " We think the King s Highness, ne any 
temporal man, may not be the head of the Church 
by the laws of God, to have or exercise any juris 
diction or power spiritual in the same, and we think 

* The pfcin word.- of Scripture are. " T5 if .W Bocy. _ TTiis ig .Vy 
Blood . " The plain words of Scripture are, ; Except ye eat the ftak of the 
Son of Man and drink His Blood, ye bare no life in you, . " 


by the law of the Church, general councils, inter 
pretations of approved doctors, and consent of 
Christian people, the Pope of Rome hath been 
taken for the head of the Church and Vicar of 
Christ, and so OUGHT TO BE TAKEN ? " (Strype s 
Mem.} Shall we rely upon her judgment as ex 
pressed in the Articles of Doctrine of 1537,* de 
bated in Convocation, and approved and set forth 
by the king? Or as expressed in the forty -two 
"Articles which were agreed to in the Synod of 
London in 1552, by the bishops and other godly 
and learned men, to root out discord of opinions, 
and establish the agreement of true religion ; " f 
differing essentially from the former? Or as ex 
pressed in the declaration unanimously adopted by 
both houses of Convocation, and signed by both the 
universities in the first year of Elizabeth, setting 
forth, in fine, distinct propositions " the Pope s Su 
premacy and the Sacrifice of the Mass ? { Or as 
expressed in the Acts of Parliament, (at the sitting 
of which not a single bishop was present,) which 
condemned the said declaration, suppressing the 
MASS and making the QUEEN the supreme head of 
the Church ? Or, again, as expressed in the 
Thirty-nine Articles, passed by Parliament, and set 
forth by the authority of the Queen in 1632, de 
signed to correct and abrogate her forty -two arti 
cles of 1552, denouncing many of the doctrines 

* Palmer s Treatise on the Church," vol. i., p. 4C9. 

t Burnet, on that period. } See Heylin, p. 115. 

$ Ileylin, Exam. Hist. 121. 


therein contained as contrary to God s Word and 
dangerous to souls ? 

Or, to return once more to the sad history of 
her perpetual change, shall we rely on her judg 
ment as authoritatively given through her convoca 
tion,, reviewed and sanctioned by the king, (1537-8) 
in a book entitled the " Godly and Pious Discipline 
of a Christian Man," enjoining upon her sons and 
daughters, and instructing them how they are to 
understand and hold, the doctrines of the seven 
sacraments * purgatory invocation of Saints, 
prayers for the dead, &c. ? Or shall we rely upon 
that judgment as given in her first edition of the 
Book of Common Prayer, a book compiled by 
Cranmer and his associates, sanctioned by the 
King, Lords and Commons, and, to use their 
modest language, "concluded and set forth with 
the aid of the Holy Ghost ; " f but a book enjoining 
the sacrament of Extreme Unction and prayers for 
ihe dead, urging auricular confession, and pro 
viding public offices ,for the first two, and a form 
of absolution for the third ? Or shall we rely upon 
that judgment as given in the next edition of the 
same book of Common Prayer, in which, by the 
same authority under the manifest influence of two 
finned foreigners, J the offices for the dead and for 
administering Extreme Unction are discarded, the 
latter being pronounced " The corrupt following of 

* Matrimony, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, The Mass, Orders and 
Extreme Unction, 
f See 2 and 3 Ed. VI., c. i. . J Bucer and Peter Martyr. 


the Apostles."* Or finally, shall we rely upon 
that judgment, as exhibited in the American edition 
9f the same Book of Common Prayer, set forth by 
" the General Convention of the Protestant Episco 
pal Church in the United States," and sanctioned 
by the Archbishops and Bishops of England, in 
which every trace of auricular confession is oblit 
erated ; one article of the Apostles Creed declared 
unimportant,^ and the whole of the Athanasian 
Creed absolutely discarded 1 

Or, to conclude with an illustration from her 
living teachers, shall we rely upon her judgment, 
for example, on the great question of Baptismal 
regeneration, as expressed in her Office for the 
administration of Baptism and in the Nicene Creed, 
interpreted by her ablest Divines in a true Catholic 
sense ; or, as interpreted by authority of the 
Queen, as having no sense, or what is tantamount, 
any sense, which a majority of her judges see fit to 
put upon it ? Or to pursue the point a step fur 
ther, shall we rely on her judgment as expressed by 
the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, seconded 
by three thousand two hundred and sixty -two of the 
English clergy, in the words, ( < We humbly state 
our conviction that it was a wise and just sentence, 
(referring to that of the Queen s judges in the case 
of Gorham, &c.,) in accordance with the principles 
of the Church of England ? " Or as expressed in a 
strong and decided remonstrance against that judg- 

* See Tliirty-nine Articles, art. xxv. 

f Tlie " Descent into Hell," the use of which is by the rubric left optional 


ment, signed by one thousand laymen and clergy 
men together ? * 

Now it is to be remembered that 1 put these 
questions to myself under the influence of such 
convictions as come necessarily from the principles 
of the famed sermon of Dr. Hook, " Hear the 
Church ! " A principle, which, if it be worth any 
thing, is worth every thing to the anxious inquirer ; 
inasmuch as it secures to him, in the ever-living 
Church, an ever-living teacher and guide, being 
based on the promise, " Lo ! I am with you all 
days ! " A teacher and guide, which, being under 
the constant enlightening and purifying presence 
of Christ, will not have need (to borrow the popu 
lar simile of Dr. H.,) to " wash her face " in the 
broken cisterns of man s device, in order to see the 
truth; nor to continue washing it from year to 
year, and from generation to generation, with no 
certainty that she even yet sees or ever can see 
clearly and with " a single eye," that doctrine 
which she verily continues to utter with a " double 
tongue." f 

* I may be allowed to make a quotation here. 

In the TIMES of March 20th, 1850, appeared the following "Resolutions" 
on the Gorham case, signed by the leaders of the Tractarian party : 

" 1. That whatever at the present time be the force of the sentence de 
livered in the case of Gorham v. the Bishop of Exeter, the Church of Eng 
land will eventually be bound by the said sentence, unless it shall openly and 
expressly reject the erroneous doctrine sanctioned thereby. 

" 7. That by such conscious, wilful, and deliberate act, such portion of the 
Church becomes formally separated from the Catholic body, and can no longer 
assure to its members the grace of the Sacraments, or the remission of sins." 

The above is signed by Messrs. Pusey, Mill, R. J. Wilberforce, Thorp, 
Keble, Bennet, Talbot, and Cavendish. AIT the other subscribers, both lay 
and clerical, have acted on their words, and abjured Anglicanism. 

f See the Book of Common Prayer, and the Archbishop of Canterbury in 
the case above 


It was, therefore, with feelings of no ordinary 
disappointment, that under the command, " Hear 
the Church," I applied to the oracle of " the 
Church of England," and received only this con 
fused and contradictory response. Under the cir 
cumstances, who can wonder that I turned elsewhere 
that I might hear, if possible, the certain and well- 
defined voice of the < Good Shepherd of the One 



HERE, however, the strange plea was urged, viz. 
that from the introduction of Christianity into Eng 
land, a spirit of resistance to the prevailing Catho 
lie faith, and the maintenance of a purer faith was 
manifest. That this pure faith struggled at first 
against the domination of Augustine ; and then 
broke out, like some subterranean fire, at different 
periods up to the era of the Eeformation. The 
language of a popular writer in the American 
Church* is as follows : " The British Church 
produced a noble array of divines from Dinoth of 
Bangor to Cranmer of Canterbury, who, from time 
to time, did all they could to resist the uncanonical 

The Rev. Dr. Odenheimar, " Origin, &c., of Common Prayer." 



and anti-Catholic usurpation of her rights." And 
then, in attempting to give names to establish his 
position, he repeats the name of Dinoth, and adds 
those of Dagamis and Wyciiffe ! Now, this writer 
adopts the principle, "Hear the Church 1 asserted, 
with a good deal of ability, in what he calls " the 
admirable sermon of Dr. Hook ; " pronouncing, at 
the same time, that Church, which is "the pillar 
and ground of truth," to be Catholic, citing, in 
confirmation of his view, the following language 
from Tertullian : " So many and so great Churches 
are nothing else but that primitive one, from which 
all the rest proceed. Thus they are all primitive 
and all apostolical, while they all agree in the same 
truth, whilst there is among them a communion of 
peace, and an appellation of brotherhood, and a 
league of hospitality." 

The principle, therefore, by which I felt obliged 
to be governed according to this admirable teach 
ing in judging of the above plea, is that " the 
Church," which is " the pillar and ground of the 
truth," and which we are by Christ commanded to 
"hear," is "the One Catholic and Apostolic 
Church," teaching " the same truth," and cemented 
together by " a communion of peace." Now to 
make out any reasonable claim for Dinoth, Daga- 
nus, and Wyciiffe, against the other teaching au 
thority in England, I conceived it would be neces 
sary to show that these divines taught the same 

* To this last point, it will be perceived, I recur in the sequel. 


truth, and stood in the same "communion of peace," 
as the "One Catholic and Apostolic Church" and 
that the other teaching authority in England did 
not. But will any one, having the smallest regard 
to his reputation for knowledge, even pretend to 
this ? For is it not a notorious and indisputable 
fact, that when Augustine came into England^ he 
was sent by an authority, (whatever may be said 
about its universal jurisdiction, which we shall con 
sider presently,) which was in communion with ^ 
" the One Catholic Church," and that he brought ^ 
with him the Faith, which was then professed and 
acted upon, (if some half dozen men in that island 
must be excepted) throughout, at least, all the rest 
of that " One Catholic Church ! " And that it con 
tinued to be the Faith professed and acted upon 
throughout Christendom, (England included,) up 
to the period of the Reformation ? Now to me, as 
a Protestant, it was a very awkward question 
how Dinoth, and Daganus, and Wycliffe, and any 
body else who may be supposed to have acted with 
them could be regarded by any good Anglican, 
as the true, living, " teaching " authority in Eng 
land, to which, on pain of being treated as " hea 
thens and publicans," all her sons and daughters 
were compelled to listen, in opposition to the Cath 
olic authority, which alone taught, or could, by any 
possibility, be " heard " for eight hundred years 
and more. I say for eight hundred years and 
more, because, during that period, the Protestant 
authority of England declares it to be the fact. 


The words are : " Laity and clergy, learned and 
unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, 
women, and children of the WHOLE OF CHRISTEN 
DOM, had been at once drowned in abominable idol 
atry ; and that for the space of eight hundred years 
and more." (Homily against the Peril of I doit.- 
try.) Now, I entreat my old friends, and especially 
my friend who wrote the book upon which I have 
felt bound to animadvert, seriously to consider 
where, for that long period, the poor sinner was to 
go to " hear the Church ? " And more than all, 
what became of the promise of Jesus Christ to be 
with His Church, " teaching all things whatsoever 
HE commanded her always (all days) to the end of 
the world 1 " For, remember, a dead Church does 
not speak. And " Faith cometh by hearing,"" and 
sinners are to "hear the Church,"" not to get 
their faitli from themselves, by reading books, nor 
to dive into the broad deep sea of centuries long 
passed, and fish up from mouldy records their faith 
piecemeal but to listen to the "pastors and 
teachers, given for the edification of the Church, 
till we all come to unity in the Faith ; " to " sub 
mit to those who are commissioned to watch for 
our souls, and to follow their Faith." Besides, 
Christ s presence is promised to living, spealcing 
pastors, and not to old dumb books, however full 
of wisdom they may be. My old friends must ex 
cuse me, therefore, for repeating my request that 
they will meditate seriously upon this truth, as J 
was constrained to do at the time of my great trial 


Besides, the question then impressed itself upon 
me, suppose that the voice of Dinoth and Daganus 
could he heard, at least, in some faint echoes through 
those eight long centuries, till it reached the voice 
of Wy cliff e ; are Protestant episcopalians prepared 
to bow to its teaching ? * to submit to the doctrine 
of the Mass and other Catholic doctrines, then and 
there, by the admission of Protestants, distinctly 
taught ?f And, finally, suppose Dinoth and Wyc- 
liffe could have lived in the same period, what kind 
of union would have subsisted between them ? 
Admit, for a moment, that Dinoth, on two or three 
points of discipline, dissented at fast from Augus 
tine, is there one single point of faith that now 
separates Catholics from Protestants, on which it 
can be shown, he would have agreed with Wy cliff e 1 

Who can doubt, then, that tte Catholic Church 
was the only living, teaching authority in England, 
for eight hundred years, at least, prior to the 
.Reformation ? the only authority to which the 
inquiring sinner could go to learn the way of eter 
nal life ? 

* Betle s Eccl. Hi:-t. ubique. 

| Soame^s Bampton Lee. Jlppcn. Besides, is it not perfectly clear, from the 
fact that no matter in dispute between Augustine and the Britons had respect 
to doctrine, that in this there was a perfect agreement, and hence that they 
held when Augustine arrived in England all the Catholic dogmas ? The only 
three points, as stated by the Venerable Bede, (See Bede s HUt., 1. ii. c. 2, 3, 4, 
where the interview between Augustine and the ecclesiastics of Britain is 
fully described,) upon which they could not agree were the following: 
1. Upon the time of keeping Easter ; 2. Upon the ceremony of baptism; 
3. Upon union in preaching to the Saxons. And although during the life of 
Augustine these differences were not adjusted, yet in the following century 
personal animosity having died out, harmony seems to have been restored. 





MR. PALMER, in his " Treatise on the Church," 
pledges himself to "prove that the Catholic and 
primitive doctrine and authority of the Church of 
Christ, as opposed to modern abuses, and the 
license of an unbridled private judgment, were the 
principles of the English reformation." Vol. i. 
p. 493. The first important testimony which he 
adduces in support of his position, is from " the 
necessary doctrine and erudition of a Christian 
man ; " " agreed upon " (I use his own language) 
"by the whole Church of England, in 1543," and 
is as follows : " All things which were taught 
by the Apostles, and have been by a whole uni 
versal consent of the Church of Christ, ever since 
that time taught continually, and taken always for 
true, ought to be received, accepted, and kept as a 
perfect doctrine Apostolic" To show that the 
Reformation in 1571 was still conducted 011 the 
same principle, or, to use his own words, that " the 
authority of Catholic tradition was still solemnly 
recognized," he cites the canon of that time : 
" Let preachers, above all things, be careful that 
they never teach aught in a sermon, except that 
which is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and 
New Testament, and which the Catholic fathers 


and ancient bishops have collected from that very 
doctrine," adding, " Thus the authority of Catholic 
tradition was recognized by the Church of Eng 
land, and by all our learned theologians." Vol. i. 
p. 498. In respect to the authority of the Church 
as opposed to private judgment, he adduces Arti 
cle XX., of 1562, as follows: "The Church 
hath power to decree rites and ceremonies, and au 
thority in controversies of Faith." At the same 
time enforcing the principle by a passage from 
Article XXXIV. "Whosoever, through private 
; udgment, willingly and purposely doth openly 
oreak the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, 
which be not repugnant to the word of God, and 
be ordained and approved by common authority, 
ought to be rebuked, &c.," adding the words, 
" The Church herself, of course, being the judge 
of this repugnance." Ib. p. 500. 

In carefully weighing this language, which, un 
der Protestant training, I had hitherto considered 
as tenable, I perceived that it committed me and 
all who held it, to four distinct propositions, viz. : 
1. That there is in the Church of Christ " an au 
thority of tradition," that is, an authority inde 
pendent of the written word of God, and given to 
interpret that word to mankind, which has always 
existed in the Church in virtue of Christ s promise, 
and is to be known by the uniform testimony of 
the Church herself, speaking in the person of her 
successive teachers. 2. That this authority is the 
authority of the universal Church, taken as final 


arbiter in all matters of faith and discipline, in con 
tradistiiictioii to any part of her, however respect 
able in point either of wisdom or national impor 
tance. 3. That while this universal Church has 
"authority in controversies of faith/ that is, to 
determine at any time what is the unchangeable 
Faith, she has also authority, in order to meet the 
peculiar exigencies of an era, or to increase her 
means of devotion, "to decree rites and ceremo 
nies." And that when these are once decreed, 
neither individual nor nations have a right to 
" break " them, in defiance of the authority by 
which they were imposed. 4. That the whole 
Church of England, in the year 1543, (about the 
tenth year of the Reformation) regarded and ac 
tually set forth by her highest authority, the doc 
trine contained in the book entitled " A Necessary 
Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian man," as 
that which, ought to be received, accepted, and 
kept as a perfect doctrine Apostolic ; because it 
had been " taught by the Apostles, and continually, 
ever since that time, by a whole universal consent 
of the Church of Christ." 

My mind was led first to examine this last prop 
osition ; to ascertain what " the whole Church of 
England," * after ten years growth, felt herself 

* Here there is an effectual answer to the plea, that what the Church oi 
England said at this date, was said under the pressure of the state, and hence 
was not her real judgment. But, in the first place, if this were so, what secu 
rity have we that she has not always spoken under the same pressure, and 
does not speak under that pressure now 1 She i> now bound by the act.-* of 
Elizabeth, and who does not know that they are even more .it7-iii<<-u:it than the 
acts of Henry ? But unfortunately for thus pJeu, Mr. Palmer insists that thia 


bound to believe and to do, on the principle of re 
forming herself after the pattern of " Catholic and 
primitive doctrine." And here the task was com 
paratively easy. The table of contents of the 
" Necessary Doctrine, &c.," at once placed under 
my eye the results of her examination and judg 
ment. Among other things I found, she then 
gathered from the ever-abiding treasures of the 
"One Catholic and Apostolic Church," " Se^en 
holy Sacraments, as now enumerated by Catholics, 
viz., Matrimony, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, 
Holy Eucharist, (or the Mass,) Orders, and Extreme 
Unction. Also, the Salutation of the Angels, called 
Ave Maria, and prayers for souls departed." Here, 
then, I saw that the mature judgment of "the 
whole Church of England," (with the king and 
Cramner at the head,) professedly governed by 
Catholic antiquity, gave her first verdict in favor 
of a large part of the dogmatic truth held in Eng 
land before the reformation. Hence it became to 
my mind a serious question, what influence subse 
quently operated upon the judgment of England, 
still expressed by the same men and the same au 
thority, to set that judgment against " the sacrifice 
of the Mass as a blasphemous fable ? " against five 

judgment in 1543, in favor of the seven sacraments, $ c., as contained in " the 
Necessary Doctrine," <$<;., was given by " the whole Church of England." This 
emphatic language, if it means any thing, must mean, that, after free and 
mature thought, the Church of England adopted the principle of reformation 
fy " the authority of Catiiolic tradition," and hence set forth, as the results of 
her calm and honest judgment under this principle, the doctrine of the seven 
sacraments, invocation o/ rainfe, .&c., in " ^e Nec-essary Doctrine and Eru 
dition of a Christian man ! T) 


of the seven sacraments as " a corrupt following 
of the Apostles ? " and against invocation of saints 
as anti-scriptural ? If, in 1543, these things 
seemed to her true, according to that " authority 
of tradition " by which she professed to be guided, 
by what mysterious process are they so soon made 
to appear to her false ? Be this as it may, the re 
sult showed clearly to my mind two things. 1. 
That she had both changed her ground of judg 
ment, and also, 2, proved herself an incompetent 
judge. The latter had already appeared to me too 
manifest, as stated above. While the plea that is 
sometimes urged, that new light, as she advanced, 
gradually broke upon her path, revealing a higher 
and better way, not only furnished a new proof of 
her sad instability, and hence total insufficiency as 
a guide ; but also left some ground to hope that in 
this her random pursuit of truth, she might yet be 
so happy as to find her way back to a certain and 
unchanging faith. 

In regard to the first, that she had actually changed 
her ground of judgment, or abandoned what Mr. 
Palmer calls " the authority of Catholic tradition," 
was to my mind clear from the following consider 
ations. In the first place, where an " authority " is, 
in any real practical sense, admitted, it is submitted 
to. And submitted to, not because it is to us 
reasonable in its demands, but because it has an 
absolute and independent right to govern us. So 
that when we say we admit " the authority of tra 
dition," we mean (as it seemed to me) if we mean 


any thing, that it has, independent of our own sense 
of its reasonableness, an absolute right to define 
our faith, and fashion our obedience. Otherwise, 
we may as well claim to admit the authority of the 
traditions of the mosque, as those of the Christian 
Church. For if at liberty to select, we may derive 
confirmation of some truth from, every system. 

Again, " the authority of Catholic tradition," 
that is submitted to, must, from the nature of the 
case, be accepted, because it affords a security be 
yond any thing which we could derive from our own 
minds, or the minds of other men, beyond any 
thing, indeed, which the human powers, under the 
most favorable circumstances, could possibly furnish. 
Otherwise, there would be no reason why we should 
give more weight to " tradition " to something 
handed down to us from a remote age than to 
something furnished by the present age. To justify 
us, therefore, in giving to " tradition " any real 
" authority " in settling questions of faith or disci 
pline, two things seem to be necessary. 1. That 
such tradition should have its origin in the revela 
tion of God, and be to us the vehicle of Divine 
communications. And 2. That the channel of its 
transmission should be liable to no failure either 
from human fraud or infirmity, and hence must 
have the security of a Divine guardianship. Be 
cause Christ s religion is not the result of a mental 
process not a thing wrought out or perfected in 
the laboratory of human reason but a mysteri 
ous, superhuman fact, a thing brought down as a 


gift from heaven to earth, and handed on through 
the successive generations of earth by the power 
of heaven. Hence, I say " tradition " springs from 
God, and has ever the protection of God, it being 
God s first communication to man after His redemp 
tion, and designed by its perpetual light to make 
all other communications distinct and certain. 

Soon after His resurrection our blessed Lord re 
tired with His disciples, and " for forty days in 
structed them in the things pertaining to His king 
dom." Here is the foundation of that tradition, 
which was intrusted to the Church for her guidance 
in the faith. But it is not completed, though thus 
imparted by the great Prophet Himself. The disci 
ples were commanded to wait in Jerusalem till they 
were endued with the power of that Divine Spirit 
which was to "lead the Church into all truth." 
On the glorious day of Pentecost He descended in 
all His fulness upon her, and Christ, her faithful 
Head, began the fulfilment of His gracious promise 
to be "with her to the end of the world." Thus, 
when He ascended up on high, " He led captivity 
captive, and gave gifts unto men. And He gave 
some Apostles, and some prophets, and some pastars 
and teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for 
the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the 
body of Christ, till we all meet in the unity of the 
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, 
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age 
of the fulness of Christ." Here we have an ac 
count, by God s own hand, of the beginning of 


that dispensation of mercy and love to mankind, 
through the operation of the Holy Ghost, which, 
Pie assures us, is to be carried on to its final con 
summation, under the same operation, by means of 
His divinely ordered, and divinely sustained, priest 
hood. This priesthood, in the persons of the Apos 
tles and those whom they associate with them, goes 
forth into all the world, to do the bidding of their 
Lord. In the light of His abiding presence, and 
under the power of the Holy Ghost, the Gospel is 
preached the Church established fundamental 
faith imbodied in " a form of sound words " * 
converts orally trained in it, and the sacraments 
gradually brought to their view as occasion required. 
Thus the mystical body of Christ, well ordered 
and well furnished with all her divine functions 
and all her divine " treasures of wisdom and knowl 
edge," presents herself to the nations as an all- 
sufficient guide to eternal life, long before the New 
Testament had its being. Will any one pretend to 
say that the Christians who lived and died under 
this simple and oral teaching of the priesthood, 
were not as well furnished for their entrance into 
the Paradise of God, as they who trust solely to the 
Bible at the present day ? But those Christians 
lived and died under the (t authority of Catholic 
tradition." And that same tradition, with that 
same authority, has ever remained in the Church, 
an infallible teacher and interpreter to the present 
hour. So that St. Irenseus could ask, " What if 
the Apostles had not left us writings ; would it 


not have been needful to follow the order of that 
TRADITION which they delivered to those to whom 
they committed the Churches ? " And to illustrate 
the benefits of this tradition by an example, he 
adds : " An ordinance to which many of the bar 
barous nations who believe in Christ assent, having 
salvation written without pen and ink by the Spirit 
in their hearts, sedulously guarding the old tradi 
tion." Adv. Hares. 1. iii. 

And that champion of the truth, St. Athanasius, 
could say, referring to the Arians : " It is enough 
to give this only answer to such things, and to say, 
these things are not of the Catholic Church. 
Neither did the Fathers think thus." (Ovx oai 
ruvra ir^ xadohx^g ixzleo-tag, ovde ravra 01 mxTsgeg 
iygovyaav.) Ep. ad. Epict. 

This tradition, it was, to which the blessed Paul 
refers, when exhorting his son in the faith, " Keep 
that which is committed to thy trust." " Hold 
fast the form of sound words, which thou hast 
heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ 
Jesus." To which he refers also, when, guarding 
the Thessalonians against false teachers, he exhorts, 
" Let no man deceive you by any means. Stand 
fast, and hold the traditions which ye have learned, 
whether by word, or by our Epistle." 

It was this tradition to which the Fathers bowed 
with such uniform and profound reverence. It 
was this to which the holy bishop of Hieropolis,* 

* Papias. 


" the hearer of St. John and the friend of St. Poly- 
carp," refers, when he says, " If any one came to 
me who had accompanied the elders, I questioned 
him concerning their words, what Andrew and 
Peter said. For I did not think that what is in 
the books would aid me as much as what came 
fi-Dm the living and abiding voice." Ap. Euscb. 
1. iii. c. 39. 

It was this to which St. Irenscus refers, when he 
says of the heretics : " We challenge them to that 
tradition which is from the Apostles, which is pre 
served in the Churches through the succession of 
presbyters." (Quum autem ad earn iterum tra- 
ditionem, quse est ab apostolis, quse per successiones 
presbyterorum in ecclesiis custoditur, provocamus 
eos.) Adv. Hares. 1. iii. c. . 

And St. Clement, when he says : Wherefore 
the Lord has not forbidden us to rest from good, 
bat has permitted us to impart the divine mysteries 
and that secret light, to those who are able to re 
ceive them. But He did not immediately reveal 
to many those things which were not for many, but 
to a few, to whom He knew them to be suited, 
who were capable both of receiving them, and of 
being conformed to them. Secret things, like 
God, are intrusted, not to writing, but to oral 
teaching." (^/ &> Tnaieveiai, 8 yq&puoni.} Strom. 


And Tertullian, who says : " If no Scripture has 
determined this (observance) assuredly custom has 
confirmed it, which doubtless has been derived from 


tradition ; for how can a tiling be used, unless it 
be first handed down to us ? Let us inquire, 
then, whether even tradition, even though not 
committed to writing, ought not to be received." 
(Quaeramus an et traditio nisi scripta non debeat 
recipi.) De Corona. 

And Origen : " We are not to credit these men, 
nor go out from the first and the ecclesiastical tra 
dition j nor to believe otherwise than as the 
Churches of God have by succession transmitted 
to us." T. iii. Com. in St. Matt. 

And St. Athanasius, speaking of the Arians : 
<( This has been their device and cunning, and they 
had even this deadly purpose to seek to drive from 
their chairs those who hold to that teaching of the 


Catholic Church which has been handed down to 
them from the Fathers." Apol. con. Arian. U. 3, 

And St. Ephrsem : f( Be firmly persuaded of 
this, not as an opinion, but as a truth, that what 
soever has been transmitted, whether in writing 
only, or by word of mouth, is directed to this end, 
that we may have life, and may have it more abun 
dantly." T. iii. Ser. lix. 

And St. Gregory of Nyssa : " It sumceth for a 
demonstration of our words that we have a tradi 
tion that comes down to us from the fathers, like 
an inheritance transmitted by succession from the 
apostles through the holy men that have come 
after them." (olvov nra K^^OV dl frxolovdiag x TWV 

I. iv. Con. Eunom. 


St. Gregory of Xazianzum says : " "May we to 
the last of life, confess with great confidence, that 
excellent deposit (r^ xu).t}v naga^arndrjx^v-^ of the 
holy Fathers who were nearest to Christ and the 
primitive faith." T. i. Orat. 6. 

And St. Basil : " Tell me, this pious tradition of 
the Fathers, and as you yourself have termed it, 
this rule and safe criterion, is it now on the con 
trary proclaimed to be an instrument of deceit ? " 
Adv. Eunom. 1. i. Again : " Let tradition shame 
thee from separating the Holy Ghost from Father 
and Son. Thus did the Lord teach, Apostles 
preach, fathers preserve, and martyrs confirm. Let 
it suffice thee to speak as thou hast been taught, 
and let me not hear these sophisms." T. ii. Horn, 
con. Sab. And once more : " Of the dogmas and 
teachings preserved in the Church, we have some 
from the doctrine committed to writing, and some 
we have received transmitted to us in a secret man 
ner (L>> //t <7TJ/o*o>) from the traditions of the Apos 
tles ; both these have the same force in forming 
sound doctrine, .(uTie.Q //qr>orc T^V avir^ iv/\)V e%et 
nQog TIT/ efaeSetui*) and no one will gainsay 
either of these ; no one, that is, that has the least 
experience of the ecclesiastical laws. For should 
we attempt to reject, as not having any great au 
thority, (/tuvuuiv) those customs that are unwrit 
ten, (Vu ayqacf.a iwv i-dwv,) we should be betrayed 
into injuring the Gospel even in primary matters, 
or rather, in circumscribing the Gospel into a mere 
name." T. iii. De S. Sane. c. xxvii. 


And St. Siricius, who says : " In the Council of 
Nicaea, the Holy Ghost favoring, at the same time 
that the possession of faith was juridically confirmed, 
it was the desire of the bishops there assembled, 
that the apostolic traditions (apostolicas traditiones) 
should come to the knowledge of all men." Ep. 
v. ad Episcop. Divers. 

St. Epiphanius says : " It is also necessary to use 
tradition ; for all things cannot be derived from the 
divine Scripture ; because the holy Apostles trans 
mitted some things indeed in writings and some in 


tradition." (^/<o TO. fdv ev yoacpal* TU ds 
doaei Ttags8h)y.av ol ayioi aTrocrioloi.} T. 

St. Jerome says distinctly : " Even though the 
authority of Scripture were not at hand,, the agree 
ment of the whole world in this matter would pre 
vail as a command. For many other things also, 
that by tradition are observed in the Churches, 
have gained for themselves the authority of a writ 
ten law." (Nam et multa alia quse per traditionem 
in ecclcsiis observantur, auctoritatem sibi scripta? 
legis usurpaverunt.) T. ii. adv. Lucifer. 

And St. Chrysostom when he says, commenting 
on 1 Cor. xi. 2, (That in all things ye are mindful 
of me, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them 
to you,) " Whence it follows that lie (St. Paul) de 
livered them many things also without writing, as 
he shows elsewhere in many places ; but now also 
he lays down the cause. . / If any men seem to be 
contentious, we have no such custom, nor the 


Churches of God. And again, commenting oil 
2 Thess. ii. 14, (Therefore brethren, stand fast, 
and hold the traditions ivhich ye have learned, 
whether by word or by our epistle :) " Hence it is 
plain that they did not deliver all things by epistle, 
hut many things also without writing, and in like 
manner both those and these things are worthy of 
credit. Wherefore let us reckon the tradition of 
the Church worthy of credit. It is a tradition; 
scelc nothing further ." (nuq&Soais tart, prjd&v nleov 
giJTct.) T. xi. Horn. 4. 

And finally St. Augustine, when he says : " But 
those things which we observe, not because written, 
but transmitted, (quse non scripta, sed tradita 
custodimus), things which are indeed observed 
throughout the whole world, it is to be understood, 
that they are to be retained as commanded and 
decreed, either by the Apostles themselves, or by 
general councils, the authority of which is most 

wholesome in the Church The custom of our 

mother Church in baptizing infants is by no means 
to be despised, nor to be deemed in any way super 
fluous, nor to be believed at all, were it not an 
Apostolic tradition, (ncc omniiio credeiida nisi 

Apostolica esset traditio) It is not to be 

doubted that the dead are aided by the prayers of 
the holy Church, and by the salutary sacrifice, and 
by the alms which are offered for their spirits ; that 
theLord may deal Avith them more mercifully than 
their sins have deserved. For this, which has been 
handed down by the Fathers, the universal Church 


observes." (Hoc enim a patribus traditum, uni- 
versa observat ecclesia,) T. v. serm. clxxii. 

It is this tradition which made the faith plain to 
the unlettered,, and fenced it round, and protected 
it against the inroads of private judgment and royal 
dictation ; which supplied saving knowledge in the 
absence of the Holy Scriptures and of the qualifica 
tions to read them, and vindicated the providence 
of Almighty God for delaying what seemed to be 
an essential means* for their general distribution 
till fourteen long centuries had passed away. Now 
it is this tradition to which, I could not doubt, the 
Anglicans referred, when they first spoke of being 
governed in their reformation by " the authority of 
Catholic tradition." But (as it was equally clear 
to me) finding that "the authority" of such tradi 
tion would not only rebuke them for what they had 
already done, but, forcing them to return upon their 
knees to the chair of St. Peter, would compel them 
to sacrifice all private or national aims on the altar 
of Catholic unity, and offer a life of penitence in 
satisfaction for their attempted schism, they at once 
broke away from that " authority," and in total dis 
regard of the past, resolved to allow nothing to con 
trol their own will or action for the future. And 
this they did, in face of their own authoritative 
declaration, that "whosoever, through his private 
judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly 
break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, 
which be not repugnant to the word of God (the 

* The art of Printing. 


Church of course being judge of this repugnance), 
and which be ordained and approved by common 
authority, ought openly to be rebuked," &c. I say 
in the face of vhis declaration. For it seemed to 
me, with the views I had always entertained as a 
churchman, that it could not, with any show of rea 
son, be pretended that " the traditions and ceremo 
nies " found in the Catholic Church of England 
before or at the Reformation,, were not established 
there by that Church (it being the only Church in 
existence), which had " power to decree rites and 
ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith," 
and could not be pretended that such rites and cer 
emonies were not " ordained and approved by com 
mon authority ," consistent, in the judgment of the 
Church, with the word of God. And therefore it 
could not be pleaded, that the persons " breaking " 
them, however many or high in political station, 
"ought not to be publicly rebuked." 

I was told, it is true, that this view of tradition 
made little account of God s Word. But the an 
swer which satisfied my own mind was, that " tra 
dition," in the Catholic sense, is a part of God s 
Word, the unwritten part, given before the written 
part, as the lex uon scripta, or common law, ante 
dates the lex scripta, or statute law, neither dero 
gating from its authority nor weakening its obliga 
tion.* Besides, what seemed to me to be the great 

* Referring to the value of tradition, Perrone draws the following illustra 
tion from Cicero : " Patet ex eo quod oinnis bene instituta republica, ut ait 
Tullms, non tain lege scripts, quam non scripta, traditione nempe et consue 


concern of the Christian, was, to honor God, by 
due submission to all that He has revealed. And 
finally, the thought struck me, that there might 
perhaps be more danger in believing too little than 
too much. At any rate, that persons, who call 
parts of the Bible "non-essential," and treat other 
parts as "a dead letter," (for example, St. James 
v. 14, 15.) should not be forward in charging the 
holders of tradition with want of reverence for holy 



IT had often been asked, by way of objection to 
Catholicism, " Why, if certain matters of faith 
and order are as important as Catholics consider 
them, is so little said of them in the Bible ? " But 
to my mind, the question was sufficiently answered 
in the fact already brought to view, that the Church 
was established, and the revelation of God made to 
it, many years before the New Testament was writ 
ten, and that that prior revelation was not made 
void by the appearance of the latter. And here I 
shall be excused for introducing a passage from a 

tudine gubernetur : eo magis quod lex utut porspicue exposta fuerit, in varios 
sensus facile trahitur, nee nioi consuetuiline traditioneque, tamquani viva 
ac loquente voce, recta ac legitima muts per se ac veluti mortua; Scriptural 
interprctatio in republica constat ac conservatur." 


manuscript sermon, prepared for an ordination, and, 
as will be recollected by some of my old friends, 
preached by myself, at the period to which I al 
lude. " Take the question, What do the Scriptures 
teach in respect to carrying out the fundamental 
faith? Or what precise instrumentality do they 
institute to apply this faith to the souls and bodies 
of men ? You will say, < The Church, with her 
ministry, and sacraments, and ordinances. So far 
well. For t the Church of the living God is the 
pillar and ground of the truth. And by the 
Church is the manifold wisdom of God to be made 
known. While we are to ( continue in the Apos 
tles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of 
bread and of prayers. But what is the precise 
constitution of the Church ? What the orders of 
her priesthood ? The number and force of her sac 
raments and ordinances ? Now there is good rea 
son why the New Testament should be less definite 
and full on these points than their importance in 
this age would seem to demand. The Church, at 
the time when the New Testament was written, 
stood already (as she had long stood) before the 
world, with her ministry and sacraments, and the 
like, and stood there in perfect external unity, as 
fashioned and arranged by the hand of God Him 
self. When, therefore, the New Testament was 
given her by the same hand, is it at all wonderful 
that little should be found in it in regard to the 
peculiar fashion and arrangements of that Church, 
which actually stood before the world., bearing the 


divine impress and under the divine inspiration, to 
speak for herself? 

A father dies and is found to have willed to his 
children and children s children, his house and fur 
niture, and servants,* on condition that they hand 
them down (the servants of course in their descend 
ants,) from generation to generation without essen 
tial alteration. Should we expect to find in that 
will (on the principle of any known law or prac 
tice) how the house was built? How the furni 
ture and servants were arranged? And how, in 
minute detail, they had been governed? Should 
we, in truth, expect to find in it more than such 
general descriptions as would sufficiently identify 

the whole ? Our Blessed Lord dies and leaves 

to His people, by will (for that, eo nomine, is the 
written Gospel,) the blessings of His Church, in 
her ministry, and sacraments, and ordinances ; on 
condition that they use them faithfully and trans 
mit them unimpaired and unchanged to all future 
generations. Ought we to expect, on any reason 
able ground, this will to tell minutely how the 
church was constructed ? What was the particular 
order of the ministry, and the number of the sacra 
ments ? And how they and all things else in the 
Church were arranged ; when all, made after the 
divine pattern, and animated by the divine spirit, was 
before the faithful to answer promptly to their own 
eyes and ears every inquiry prompted by their obe 
dient hearts ? 

* Written for a slave State. 


Here, then, we see why many things, the begin 
ning of which is not noticed, and mere glimpses of 
which appear, in the New Testament, hold a prom 
inent place in the early history of the Apostolic 
Church. They had their origin in this oral reve 
lation, and were inculcated upon Christians in their 
very existence, when afterwards the written revela 
tion, containing the mere outlines of faith and prac 
tice, made its appearance. Hence the observance 
of the first day of the week, called Sunday, in place 
of the seventh day, called the Sabbath, found in tra 
dition sufficient authority, although the New Tes 
tament gave no direction for the change. Hence 
the baptism of infants, as St. Augustine says, could 
" not be believed at all were it not an Apostolic 
tradition ; " yet because it was an Apostolic tradi 
tion, it was received with as much readiness of faith 
as if it had been explicitly commanded in the New 
Testament, although in that blessed book it is not 
so much as named. The same, as St. Augustine 
further remarks, must be said in regard to " prayers, 
and sacrifices, and alms for the deitd," with invoca 
tion of Saints, and many other doctrines flowing 
directly from that deep well of Christian truth 
the divine mystery of the Incarnation. 

Another fact was urged against the present Cath 
olic teaching, viz., that immediately subsequent to 
the Apostles day, no traces, or at least very faint 
ones, of certain points in this teaching are discover 
able in the doctrines and practices of the Church. 
This fact I could not but admit ; but found in the 


doctrine of tradition its perfect solution. The 
" depositum " of truth intrusted to the Church, in 
the person of the eleven disciples, by Him whose 
sayings and doings swelled so far beyond the writ 
ten Gospels,* was not, as the Fathers testify,f at 
first fully unfolded to the gaze of the unregenerate 
world, nor even to the babes in Christ, except as 
they were gradually made able to comprehend and 
appreciate it. The reason may be found in the 
injunction of our Lord " not to cast pearls before 
swine," and in that of St. Paul, that " babes in 
Christ must be fed with milk, and not with meat, 
till they are able to bear it." Hence I saw why 
many things, although fully revealed to the Church, 
and of the highest importance in themselves, seem 
now to have held a very subordinate place in the 
public teaching of the first fathers, particularly as 
their secret instructions, from the very circum 
stances which often led to their secrecy, never 
transpired. Hence says St. Ambrose to the cate 
chumens : " You are summoned to the mysteries, 
though ignorant what they are, you learn when 
you come." T. i. De Elia, fyc. 

Besides, I recollected that for three full centu 
ries after the birth of Christianity, it was driven by 
the sword of persecution, for the most part, from 
the face of society into the dens and caves of the 
earth. That its records were destroyed, its creeds 
preserved only in the memory, its liturgies trans- 

* St. John xxi. 25. 

t See Faith of Catholics^ Discip. of the Secret., vol. ii. p. 15&-178. 


mitted from mouth to mouth, and that the chief 
monuments which remained to it were the blood 
and the ashes of its martyrs. Hence I could only 
see the wonder-working power of God in the pres 
ervation of the faith at all, and of such certain 
proofs of its safe transmission as actually exist. 
But these proofs 1 found to be of a character so 
unpretending in themselves, and so concealed from 
the eye of the world, and indeed from every eye 
but that of faith alone, as to beget in me no won 
der that they should be so little known or under 
stood even at this late period. I could not but 
think, however, that if men generally would duly 
reflect upon the necessary connection between the 
age of persecution and that which immediately fol 
lowed, and would open their eyes to the sudden 
development into full life and vigor of every part 
of the Catholic svstem so soon as the almost stifling 

> o 

weight of adverse power was removed, they would 
hardly be disposed to complain of any lack of evi 
dence in favor of the primitive and Apostolic char 
acter of every portion of Catholic truth. 

Another circumstance, too, connected with "tra 
dition," helped to divest my mind of prejudice. 
One of the favorite objections to Catholicism pleaded 
in excuse for the introduction of Protestantism, had 
been with me, that which charged the Catholic 
Church with having, from time to time, ingrafted 
new errors upon old truths. But on getting a clear 
insight into the nature of Apostolic tradition ; on 
finding that it consisted in a " depositum " of truth 


with the Church, to be brought out, and applied as 
exigence or need might demand, I could no longer 
rest upon an objection so imaginary. Indeed, I 
saw clearly that, on this principle of tradition alone 
could the Church of England defend many points 
of her fundamental faith, as embraced in " the 
Faith once {for all) delivered to the Saints." That 
on this principle alone could she, for example, 
maintain "the descent into hell," and "the com 
munion of saints," in the "Apostles Creed," and 
the "Consubstantialem Patri," and the "filioque" 
of the Nicene, with all the kindred articles in the 
Athanasian ; as having been transmitted from the 
Apostles inasmuch as they are not found among 
the enjoined Articles of Faith till the fourth and 
fifth centuries. In truth I discovered, what upon 
reflection seemed so reasonable, that a large portion 
of the fundamental faith of the Church was not dis 
tinctly enjoined in her written formularies till it 
was denied, nor its necessary adjuncts and de 
fences marshalled around it till it was assailed ! * 

* Hence St. Augustine says : " The dogma of the Trinity was not perfectly 
brought out till the Arians declaimed against it; nor was penance, until 
attacked by the Novatians ; nor the efficacy of baptism, till questioned, by re- 
baptizers. Nay, what regarded the unity of the body of Jesus Christ was not 
discussed with minute exactness until the weak, being exposed to danger. . . 
compelled the teachers of truth to examine these truths to the bottom . . .Thug 
the errors of heresy, instead of injuring the Catholic Church, have really for 
tified it : and those who thought wrong were an occasion of ascertaining 
those who thought right. What had been but piously believed, became after 
wards fully understood. 

This reminds me of an error which, in the course of my examination, 
showed :tself continually in Protestant statements, viz., to date t he com 
mencement of a doctrine or practice at the time, when from some denial or 
neglect such doctrine or practice was made binding by an explicit written de 
cree, although it had alwai/s existed in the Church. 




BUT to return to the Church of England at the 
Reformation. I perceived that while it had de 
parted so widely from " the authority of Catholic 
tradition/ in consenting to the change, it, as a 
Church, had really little to do in bringing that 
change about. 

It is true, as I was well aware, that among Prot 
estants the notion prevails that for some time prior 
to the Reformation, the power of the Roman Pon 
tiff and the corruptions of the Catholic religion had 
become so intolerable, that the Church, stimulated 
by conscience, was driven for relief to a separation 
from Rome. But, after what I considered strict 
examination into the facts of the case, I could find 
nothing to justify such a notion, no recorded 
thought, word, or deed, emanating from the 
Church during the first thirty years of the sixteenth 
century, or up to the very date of the first Par 
liament which moved in the Reformation, to show, 
or to indicate even remotely, any symptom of dis 
satisfaction, on her part, with the existing 

* It will bo perceived that I here speak (and I do it purposely} of the evi 
dence of dissatisfaction of the Church in England. For the whole weight 
of the plea depends upon this distinction. And I cannot suppose that it will 
be pretended by any respectable Anglican, that the dissatisfaction of restless, 
fanatical individuals (although there was a peculiar absence of these men at 
the period alluded to) indicates any reasonable or essential dissatisfaction of 


If she thought it corrupt, she gave no outward 
signs ; if she felt it to be oppressive, she uttered 
no complaint. Indeed, all the signs and complaints 
seemed the other way. The master spirit of the 
nation sent forth, in the person of the king, an in 
dignant rebuke against Luther and the German 
princes for their attempt to throw off the Papal 
authority ; while the English nation evinced no 
symptom of displeasure at the royal interference ! 
The cause, and, so far as I could discover, the sole 
cause which led to the rupture between England 
and Rome was a personal one was no other than 
the righteous refusal of Pope Clement VII. to di 
vorce Henry VIII. from his lawful wife, and to 
countenance his adulterous connection with his 
mistress ; and that the ecclesiastics were as a body 
forced to take part with Henry by threats and per 
secutions. And then, by way of self-justification 
for their fatal submission, and entirely as an after 
thought, were induced to echo the German cry of 

the Church itself. For example, it will hardly be thought fair to cite the 
fanaticism of Wuitefield and the Weslcys as an evidence that the Church ol 
England in their day was groaning under the oppressions of parliament o 
the supremacy of King George ! Or the language of Abiron to Moses (Num. 
xvi. 3.), "Thou takest too much upon thec, seeing all the congregation are 
holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them ; wherefore, then, lift- 
est thou up thyxelf abuve the congregation of the Lord ? " as a good proof that all 
Israel were groaning under the oppressions of their supreme lawgiver, and 
anxious to throw off his righteous authority 1 Indeed, the fact that " Henry 
VIII. attempted to constitute," as Macaulay says, "an Anglican Church, 
differing from the Roman Catholic Church on the paint of supremacy, and on 
that point alone; and that his success in this attempt was extraordinary," 
showed to my mind clearly, that no dL^uti.-sfactiori was felt with the Catho 
lie system generally ; and that the personal motive here will be sufficient to 
account for his extraordinary and wicked course. 


corruption in religion, and enormity in the exer 
cise of Papal power. 

This, I know, will be regarded as a very serious, 
and, perhaps, presumptuous conclusion. But that 
I did not come to it on slight grounds, let the fol 
lowing undeniahle facts bear witness. 

At a period in England of great religious quiet 
ness and devotion to the Catholic Faith, King 
Henry VIII. became enamoured of his mistress, 
Anna Boleyn, and sought, through the Pope, a 
divorce from his lawful wife. This, after repeated 
applications, was peremptorily refused. The art 
ful mistress at once resolved upon a plan that 
should remove every obstacle between herself and 
the object of her ambition j and hence proceeded 
to instil into the mind of her royal paramour the 
notion that the Papal authority in England had no 
legal foundation. The temptation with Henry was 
too strong. He saw at a glance his advantage, 
saw, from the accidental position of things, that the 
clergy could be brought to his feet. The statutes 
of " Praemunire," under the royal license, had long 
been disregarded, but still had legal force. .Henry 
had granted to Cardinal Wolsey permission to act 
as the legate of Rome, which those statutes pro 
hibit. The Cardinal had entered upon his office, 
and with the concurrence, too, of the bishops and 
clergy of the realm. Henry at once perceived the 
snare that lay around them ; and with a perfidy and 
cruelty of which few but himself were capable, 
proceeded to spring it upon his unsuspecting, and 


really, in this matter, unoffending favorite. The 
horrible character of the act, and his knowledge of 
the man with whom he had to deal, led Wolsey at 
once to the determination to submit quietly to a 
fate which he saw was already decreed. The case 
of Wolsey, although it sent a thrill of something 
more than astonishment through the nation, failed 
to wake up the rest of the clergy to a sense of their 
own danger. Henry observing this, and feeling 
that their submission was essential to the accom 
plishment of his nefarious purpose, proceeded to 
subject the whole body of them, as the " fautors, 
aiders, and abetters " of Wolsey, to the penalties 
of prsemunire. They felt themselves in an evil 
case, and with a cowardice which nothing but their 
astounding position could palliate, sought to relax 
the royal grasp, and make their escape, by tender 
ing to Henry more, it is said, than 1,500,000 of 
the present currency of England. The drama 
which followed shows, at least, how little the clergy 
of that nation were prepared to sympathize with 
the so called Reformation, and how reluctantly they 
were brought, after long resistance, and a succes 
sion of royal aggressions, to submit to its final, and, 
to themselves, fatal bondage. 

To their utter surprise Henry refused the pres 
ent, unless they consented to add to it the declara 
tion, which was to pass into a law, that "he, and 
he only, was the protector and supreme head of the 
Church of England ; " and that " the cure of souls, 
which they exercised under him, had been commit- 


ted to his charge." This demand, instead of being 
hailed, as protestants represent, with joy at the 
prospect which it opened, of freedom from Rome, 
was actually viewed with consternation, and resisted 
as being opposed to the .institution of Christ. But 
there was a savage cruelty about Henry which 
made them quail. And hence, instead of magnify 
ing their office, and raising before the insulting 
monarch the cross as their shield and banner, they 
rushed to the foot of his throne, and in a tone of 
agonizing entreaty, besought him to retract his un 
lawful exaction. But he remained inexorable ; and 
it was not till after many months, and about as 
many conferences, that he consented to substitute 
for his first demand the words, "The head of the 
Church, as far as the law of Christ would allow." 
But this (the clergy having interpreted it in a sense 
admitting the supremacy of the Pope) did not sat 
isfy him, nor come up to the meaning he intended. 
Indeed, he looked with jealousy upon the facts, 
that the name of the Pope still preceded his own 
in the public prayers, and also that the bishops con 
tinued to receive institution from Rome.* During 
the year following, therefore, which was 1532, he 
made, by the advice of his new favorite Cromwell, 
a further aggression. . To insure to this step the 
more weight, the Commons were induced to peti 
tion him against the right which the clergy had 
hitherto exercised, of making their own canons, 

* See Lingard s ilistory of the tints. 


representing that they had done it against the lawa 
of the realm. Under color of due regard to this 
petition, Henry called upon the clergy to submit 
" the whole body of their ecclesiastical code to the 
revision of a committee of thirty-two persons, half 
clergymen and half laymen, and the whole to be 
nominated by himself." * 

At such a monstrous demand, we cannot wonder 
that the clergy, cowrd as they were, should once 
more arouse themselves into an attitude of resist 
ance. But all was in vain. Neither remonstrance 
nor entreaty for nearly two years could arrest the 
progress of the royal will. To all and each Henry 
returned the stern and startling answer : " No con 
stitution or ordinance shall be hereafter by the 
clergy enacted, promulged, and put in execution, 
unless the king s highness approve the same, by 
his authority and royal assent, and his advice and 
favor be also interposed, for the execution of 
every such constitution among his highness s sub 

This in substance, but in a still more offensive 
form, issued from parliament, that true mother of 
the present Anglican Church, during the month of 
March, 1534, in that famous act (25 Henry VIII., 
c. 19) entitled on the rolls, "An Act for the Sub 
mission of the Clergie to the King s Majesty." 

If the above history be true, as to me every 
documentary proof seemed to declare, we see the 

* See Cooper " On the History of the Act of Submission," p. 27, " The 
Anglican Church,* &c. Lee. ii. 


utter falsity, in any fair sense, of the following lan 
guage found in the preamble -of the bill, and so 
often cited to show that the clergy in this submis 
sion only carried out the already admitted principle 
of the convocation. " The King s Majesty justly 
and rightfully is, and ought to be, supreme head 
of the Church of England, and so had been recog 
nized [when? and where?] bij the clergy in their 

How, indeed, does this language contrast with 
the convictions of every candid Protestant writer 
who has examined the point ? 

Concerning this whole proceeding, says Strype, 
(the Church of England annalist,) The king made 
them [the clergy] buckle to at last. It was another 
high block and difficulty for the clergy to get over, 
to reject the Pope s power in England, and to ac 
knowledge the king supreme head and governor m 
all causes, ecclesiastical as well as civil ; but that 
at length they unwillingly yielded unto." "The 
king," says Dr. Cardwell, "was determined to 
bind his fetters in such a manner that no strength 
or artifice on the part of his prisoner should enable 
him to escape from them ; and we know from the 
subsequent history of the Church, and the many 
fruitless attempts which have been made to obtain 
a relaxation of them, that the king s design has 
been eminently successful. " f 

" By this act of submission, 25 Henry VIII.," 

* Strype s Mem. ii. 224 t Cardwell s " Synodalia." 


says Archbishop Wake, " the king s prerogative in 
this particular was somewhat enlarged, and the 
Metropolitan s authority not a little abridged ; for 
from henceforth the archbishop was restrained from 
assembling his provincial synod, without the king s 
writ to license and authorize him. So were they 
afterwards obliged to take his directions as to the 
management of their assemblies when convened, 
and not to deprive the prince the opportunity of 
making whatever use of them he had either been 
accustomed, or should otherwise think fit legally 
to do." This to me looked, and still looks, very 
little as if, previous to the above act, the clergy 
" had recognized the king as supreme head of the 
Church of England." 

To the above act, however, others in the same 
year were added, obliterating every trace of the 
Papal jurisdiction, and transferring that jurisdic 
tion, in so many words, to the king.* But all this 
was manifestly effected by the power of the king 
and his lay subjects. f I could find no evidence 

* See 26 Henry VIII., c. i. " By which statute," say both Coke and Black- 
stone, " all that power which the Pope ever exercised within the realm in 
spirituals is now annexed to the Crown." Vide also, Lewis s "Notes on 
the Royal Supremacy " (Toovey, London) ; and Pretyman s " Church of 
England subjected to the State," (Masters, New Bond Street). 

f I know it is sometimes asked, as if the question was a difficult one to 
answer, how can the above be a true statement of the case, when it is a no 
torious fact, that about the time to which we refer, a large majority of the 
bishops, headed by Cranmer, with the majority of the two universities, gave 
a decided negative to the following question : " Has any greater authority in 
this realm been giver by God in the Scripture to the Bishop of Rome than to 
any foreign bishop ? " The following reply gave entire satisfaction to my 
own mind. " The reader will observe the artful structure of this question. 
Avowedly, there is no direct mention of the Bishop of Rome in the Scripture} 


that the convocation was either consulted, or did more 
than maintain a cowardly silence. Certain it is ? 
that the Church gave no consent by the votes of 
her Bishops. For during the whole session, as 
may be seen by the journal, only seven out of 
twenty-one made their appearance in the House of 
Lords ; and of that seven only four gave their votes 
for the self-humiliating measures, at the head of 
whom stood Cranmer, who manifestly cared less 
for the preservation of his authority and dignity as 
Christ s representative, than he did for the favor 
of his sovereign, an assertion not wanting either 
in truth or charity, when the following language 
addressed to that sovereign on his becoming arch 
bishop, is duly considered. " Ordination," he 
says, " is used only for good order and seemly 
fashion." And again : " In the New Testament, 
he that is appointed to be a bishop or priest need 
eth no consecration by Scripture." And again: 
" A bishop may make a priest, and so may princes 
and governors also, and that by the authority of 

no specification of the spiritual authority given to the successor of St. Peter 
in particular ; no, nor even of the authority given to the successors of the 
Apostles in general. On these subjects the Scripture is silent. Not one of the 
sacred writers has thought of describing in detail the plan of church govern 
ment which the apostles established, to be observed after their death. For 
that we must have recourse, as the Oxford teachers admit, to tradition. Hence 
it was natural to expect that to confine the question to the doctrine expressly 
taught in Scripture, would serve the same purpose as the introduction of the 
qualifying clause, as far as allowed by the law of C/trwt, had served in the 
recognition of the king s supremacy. Many a man of timid mind, though he 
might in reality admit the authority of the Pope, might reconcile the denial 
of it with his conscience, by contending that he had only denied that it was 
directly taught in Scripture." For the reason why the New Testament did 
not mention in detail the plan of Church government, see the above Chapter 
XIII., On Tradition. 


God." Hence Burnet declares,, that " Cranmer 
had at this time some particular opinions concern 
ing ecclesiastical offices ; that they were delivered 
from the king, as other civil offices were, and that 
ordination was not indispensably necessary, and was 
only a ceremony, that might be used or laid aside ; 
but that the authority was delivered to churchmen 
only by the king s commission"^ 

In pursuance of his principles, and pledges to 
the king, he led the way, in that suicidal act, by 
which all the bishops, except that noble martyr 
Fisher, resigned their jurisdiction, and consented 
to become the sole servants of the king, by receiv 
ing from his polluted hands the only jurisdiction 
which they thenceforward either possessed, or pro 
fessed to possess, in the exercise of their office. 
That I did not mistake in this matter, the following 
language, addressed at the time to their royal mas 
ter, will sufficiently show. They say, " that all 
jurisdiction, civil and ecclesiastical, flowed from the 
king, and that they exercised it only at the king s 
courtesy ; and as they had it of his bounty, so they 
would be ready to deliver it up when he should be 
pleased to call for it." Upon this the king pro 
ceeded to give them authority to act in his stead, 
and subject to his will, in fulfilling their episcopal 

* Cranmer s Works, ii. 101. 

f Burnet s Abridg., 1. i., p. 250. " Cranmer had declared in emphatic 
terms, that God had immediately committed to Christian princes the whole 
care of all their subjects, as well concerning the administration of Ood sword 
for the cure of souls, as concerning the ministration of things political. " 
Thus speaks Macaulay, adding, " These are Cranmer s own words j " refer 
ring to the Appendix of Burnet s History, &c., Part I. B. iii. No. 21. dues. 9. 


functions. So that they were every where consid 
ered the king s bishops* 

Another act of parliament, however, attracted 
my attention ; particularly as it immediately fol 
lowed the one, doing away with the Pope s suprem 
acy, and giving the king supreme power in all 
causes spiritual, as well as temporal ; and designed 
doubtless to sweep away every qualifying clause of 
previous declarations and acts, and make the mon 
arch the supreme and absolute head of the Church. 
It was a declaratory act, and ran in the following 
terms : " The king, his heirs, and successors, kings 
of this realm shall be taken, accepted, and reputed 
the ONLY SUPREME HEAD on earth of the Church 
of England, called Anglicana Ecclesia ; and shall 
have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial 
crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, 
as all honors, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, 
privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and com 
modities to the said dignity of supreme head of 
the same Church, belonging and appertaining ; and 
that he, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, 
shall have full power and authority from time to 
time to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, 
restrain, and amend all such ERRORS, HERESIES, 
abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, WHATSO 
EVER they be, which by any MANNER of SPIRITUAL 
authority or jurisdiction, ought or may lawfully 

* Burnet, Abridg., 228. Also Lingard and Bishop Kenrick on " Validity of 
Anglican Ord." 


be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, cor 
rected, "restrained, or amended. 55 * 

If, indeed, the act of " Submission of the 
clergy," left any thing to be done by way of mak 
ing the power of the king over the Church absolute 
and unconditional, it seemed to me to be effectu 
ally supplied in this declaratory act. For it will 
be observed that the little phrase, " as far as is al 
lowable by the law of Christ," upon which the 
clergy had risked so tremendous a stake, has van 
ished forever, and the naked, unrestricted, unen 
cumbered spiritual headship of the nation stands 
before them in the person of the king, raising aloft 
with sacrilegious hand, the keys wrested from the 
chair of St. Peter, and, with " great swelling words 
of vanity," commanding every subject, from the 
archbishop to the beggar, not to seek, under the 
sorest penalties, supreme spiritual direction from 
any other source on earth ! 

That here is no over- statement -no picture of 
the imagination will be seen after a moment s 
reflection upon the stubborn facts just adduced, and 
a moment s attention to the comment upon them im 
mediately given by the king himself. And here I 
must be allowed to use the language of another, 
which seemed to exhibit to my mind a just and 
forcible view of the real intent of this new and 
extraordinary prerogative. 

" 1st. It was impossible that the king should 

* Statutes of Realm. See Cardinal Wiseman s Sermon on The Twx 


attend in person to all the duties which, his new 
dignity brought with it, and he was glad to impose 
the heaviest part of the burden upon one of his 
officers. The reader will of course infer that this 
office would be no other than the Archbishop. Not 
so ; a layman himself, he chose for his spiritu- coadju 
tor another layman, the originator of the whole 
scheme, Thomas Cromwell, his first secretary and 
master of the Rolls. Him the king appointed his 
vicegerent, vicar general, and principal officer, 
( with full powers to exercise and execute all and 
every that authority and jurisdiction appertaining 
to himself as head of the Church, and to appoint 
others his delegates and commissaries to execute 
the same under him ; authorizing them to resist all 
dioceses and Churches, to summon before them all 
ecclesiastical persons, even bishops and archbishops, 
to inquire into their manners and lives, to punish 
with spiritual censures, to issue injunctions, and 
to exercise all the functions of the ecclesiastical 
courts, * 

" 2d. A royal inhibition was then issued to the 
archbishops and bishops, ordering them to abstain 
from all exercise of spiritual jurisdiction, till the 
king had made the visitation of their dioceses ; 
which visitation was commenced in different parts 
of the kingdom by the vicar general and his dele 
gates. The object of this measure was to probe 
the sincerity of the bishops in their submission to 

* Wilk. Cov. iii. 784. 
10 * 



the king s supremacy. If they laid claim to any 
authority as inherent in their office, they would 
now, it was argued, advance that claim and seek to 
prove it, or own by their silence that it was inde 
fensible j and by suing out the restoration of their 
powers from the king, would furnish a practical 
acknowledgment that he was the fountain from 
which they derived their spiritual authority. ( If 
they claim it as a right, let them show their evi 
dence. If they take it as a benefit of the king s 
highness, let them sue for it again by supplication, 
that they and all others may understand him to be 
the head power within this realm under God, and 
that no jurisdiction proceecleth within the same 
but from him. (L. and A. Rice to Cromwell. 
Strype Mem. App. 145.) It happened as was fore 
seen. The bishops submitted in silence ; and one 
after another petitioned for the restoration of their 
ordinary jurisdiction ; which was doled out to 
them by piecemeal to be held only at the king s 
pleasure, with an admonition, that they would 
have to answer for their exercise of it before the 
supreme Judge hereafter, and before the king s 
person in the present world. Wilk. Con. iii. 
787. fyc. 

" 3d. But the humiliation of the bishops was 
not yet completed. In June, 1536, the Convoca 
tion met. On the 16th Dr. Petre came and al 
leged, that of right the first place in that assembly 
talongecl to the king as head of the Church, and 
in the absence of the king to the vicar general, the 


honorable Thomas Cromwell, the king s vicegerent 
for causes ecclesiastical; that he himself stood 
there as proctor for the said vicar general, as would 
appear by the commission which he held in his 
hand ; and, therefore, he demanded that the place 
aforesaid should be assigned to him in virtue of 
that commission. It was read accordingly, the 
claim was allowed, and Petre took the first seat. 
At the next session Cromwell himself made his ap 
pearance and presided, as he did afterwards on 
several important occasions, always occupying the 
same place, and subscribing the resolutions before 
the archbishop." Willc. iii. Strype s Mem. i. 245. 

" Thus it was in convocation ; and the same 
honor was paid to him in parliament. By the Act 
for placing the Lords, it was ordered that the 
Lord Cromwell, the king s vicegerent for good 
ministration of justice in causes ecclesiastical, and 
for the godly reformation and redress of all errors, 
heresies, and abuses in the Church, and that every 
person having the said office of grant from his 
majesty or his heirs, should have place on the same 
form with, but above, the Archbishop of Canter 
bury, and should have voice to assent or dissent as 
others the Lords in Parliament. Stat. of Realm, 
iii. Thus the vicar general took the precedence of 
every peer, both spiritual and temporal, whatever 
might be his office in Church or state." 

What language, I asked myself, could tell as 
plainly as do these proceedings under shield of the 
Acts of Parliament, what these acts were under- 



stood on all hands to mean ? But should any one 
prefer further comment in language, let them med 
itate upon the following, addressed to the king in 
an Act of Parliament, not long before his death : 
" Your most royal majesty hath full power and au 
thority to correct, punish, and redress all manner 
of heresies, errors, vices, sins, abuses, idolatry, 
hypocrisies, and superstition sprung in and growing 
within this Church of England. . .Your majesty is 
the only and undoubted head of the Church of Eng 
land, and also of Ireland, TO WHOM, BY HOLY 


causes ecclesiastical, to correct vice and sin whatso 
ever, and to all such persons as your majesty shall 

Here it is manifest, as in other Acts of Parlia 
ment, that the king s authority extended to doctrine 
as well as discipline. I know it is sometimes said 
that the clergy never gave their assent to such pre 
rogative in a layman. And in truth it is difficult 
to conceive how even fear should have prevailed 
upon them thus to betray their awful trust. But 
so it was. In petitioning the king for power and 
license to set forth " The Godly and Pious Insti 
tution of a Christian Man," they say to him, " with 
out the which power and license of your majesty, 
we know and confess that we have none authority 
eyther to assemble ourselves together for any pre 
tence or purpose, or to publishe any thing that 

* Stat. Realm, iii. 109. 



might be by us agreed on and compyled. And al 
beit, most dredlie and benign soveraigne Lorde, we 
do affirm by our lernyngs with one assent, that the 
said treatise is in all poynts concordant and agree 
able to holy Scripture, yet we do most humbly 
submit it to the most excellent wisdom and exact 
judgment of your majestic to be recognized, over- 
sene and corrected; if your Grace shall find any 
word or sentence in it mete to be changed, quali 
fied or further expounded, whereunto we shall in 
that case conforme ourselves, as to our most bounden 
duties to GOD and to your highness appertained!." 
Here to me it was manifest that the clergy had 
not only submitted their judgments in matters of 
doctrine to the king s direction ; but also held that 
their duty to God required this submission ; and 
surely on no other ground than that the king s 
direction was God s established mode of communi 
cation to them. Indeed, they had already yielded 
to a succession of demands on the part of the king, 
which absolutely required this idea for any thing 
like self-justification. They had submitted to an 
act of parliament which declares that " all declara- 

* Wilk. Con. iii. 831. " What Henry and his favorite councillors meant," 
says Macaulay, " was certainly nothing less than the full power of the keys. 
The king w.iJ to be the Pope of his kingdom, the Vicar of God, the expositor 
of Catholic verity, the channel of sacramental graces. He arrogated to him 
self the right of deciding dogmatically what was orthodox doctrine and what 
was heresy, of drawing up and imposing confessions of faith, and of giving 
religious instruction to his people. He proclaimed that all jurisdiction, spir- 
itual as well as temporal, was derived from him alone ; and that it was in his 
power to confer episcopal authority, and to take it away. He actually ordered 
Aw seal to be put to commissions by which bishops were appointed, who were to 
exercise their functions as his deputies and during his pleasure." 


tions, definitions, and ordinances which, should be 
set forth by them, with his majesty s advice, and 
confirmed by his letters patent, should be in all 
and every point, limitation, and circumstance, by 
all his grace s subjects, and all persons resident in 
his dominions, fully believed, obeyed, and observed 
under the penalties therein to be comprised."* 
Well, I thought, might it be said " By this enact 
ment the religious belief of every Englishman was 
laid at the king s feet. He named the commis 
sioners ; he regulated their proceedings by his ad 
vice ; he reviewed their decisions ; and if he con 
firmed them by letters patent under the great seal, 
they became from that moment the doctrines of the 
English Church, which every man was bound to 
< believe (that is the word) under such penalties as 
might be assigned." An art soon followed defin 
ing these penalties. And what more fearful ever 
proceeded, even in rumor, from the Spanish Inqui 
sition ? " Alas ! " I said to myself, " is this the 
boasted change from the tyranny of Rome to the 
freedom of Protestant England, so eagerly sought 
and so gloriously achieved?" That precious 
" liberty wherewith Christ has made us free," 
trumpeted far and wide as the golden fruit of the 
Reformation under Henry and Cranmer ! I could 
not repress within me feelings of indignation as I 
read for the first time the following : " If any man 
shall teach or maintain any matter contrary to the 
Godly instructions and determinations which have 

* Stat. of Realm, iii. 783. 


been or shall be thus set forth by his majesty, he 
shall, in case he be a layman, for the first offence, 
recant and be imprisoned twenty days ; for the 
second, adjure the realm ; and for the third, suffer 
the forfeiture of his goods, and imprisonment for 
life ; but if he be a clergyman, he shall for the 
first offence be permitted to recant ; on his refusal 
or second offence, shall abjure, and bear a fagot : 
and on his refusal again, or third offence, shall be 
adjudged a heretic, and suffer the pains of death 
by burning, with the forfeiture to the Icing of al 1 
his goods and chattels." Stat. of Realm, iii. 896. 



AT the death of Henry, 1547, Edward, his son, 
a boy in his tenth year, succeeded to the throne. 
Cranmer was still archbishop, and at the height of 
his influence. If, therefore, he had not fully yielded 
his mind to the system of abject submission in 
which the clergy had been drilled by Henry, here 
was an opportunity to help them to throw off the 
yoke, and return to their spiritual independence. 
But Cranmer made no effort in that direction. In 
deed, he lost no time in adopting measures to per 
petuate their slavery to the crown. His first step 
was to throw up his commission (as if to show that 


he felt that his spiritual authority died with his 
sovereign) and petition his new master for another. 
The petition was granted, and the system of the for 
mer reign was thus handed over to this. Cranmer s 
example was followed, as was expected, by his 
brother bishops. They all laid their commissions 
at the feet of the boy-king, acknowledging that he 
was " the only source of all manner of temporal 
and spiritual jurisdiction within the realm ; " * and 
humbly entreating his favor in a renewal of their 
powers. The same tests were applied, and the 
same was acted over as in the former reign. The 
bishops were all again suspended from the exercise 
of their functions, till the king, in the person of 
lay commissioners mainly, could restore their sev 
eral dioceses, and assure himself of their strict and 
honest subordination. In addition, an inquisition 
was established by him, to try heretical pravity ; 
and it is not the least remarkable instance of retrib 
utive justice at the time, that the three leading in 
quisitors,! who, as instruments of the king, had 
adjudged heretics to the flames, J should finally in 
their turn suffer the same kind of death, on the 
same grounds. 

The reign of the Catholic Mary succeeded the 
short reign of Edward ; and hence with it the old 
religion to the new one of Henry. The changes 
which took place, with the reasons, seemed to me 
to be pretty accurately given in the following, 

* Wilk. Cov. iii. 821. 

j Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley } Ann Bocher and Von Parris. 


based upon Collier, Rymer, and Macaulay. 1. The 
five bishops, so unjustly deprived to make room for 
reformers under Edward, recovered their sees. On 
tr.o attainder of Cranmer for treason in the attempt 
t; phce Lady Jane Grey on the throne, the arch- 
Ihhopric was considered vacant, and the adminis 
tration assumed by the Chapter of the Cathedral. 
Holegate, of York, and Bird, of Chester, were de 
prived, because, having taken the monastic vows, 
they had nevertheless contracted marriage de facto, 
though they had not de jure ; Taylor, Hooper, 
Harley, and Ferrar, calling themselves bishops of 
Lincoln, Worcester, Hereford, and St. David s, 
were removed on account of the nullity of their 
consecration, the defect of their title (a patent from 
the king, with a clause, limiting their office to the 
time of their good behavior,) and for divers other 
causes ; and Barlowe, of Bath and Wells, with 
Bush, of Bristol, hardly escaped the same fate by 
timely resignation. (Collier ii. 364-5, Rym. xv. 
370, &c.) In this manner all the men of the new 
learning were drawn from the episcopal bench, and 
their places were speedily filled by others attached 
to the ancient worship. 2. Immediately after the 
accession of Mary, an act was passed annulling 
whatever had been enacted on religious matters 
during the nonage of her late brother ; and a little 
after, another act, repealing in like manner all acts 
passed in the reign of her father, Henry VIII., 
touching religion, thus restoring the Pope s suprem 
acy, and replacing religion on precisely the same 


footing it occupied before the quarrel of Henry 
with the Apostolic See. The same religious gov 
ernment,, the same religious worship, the same re 
ligious doctrine prevailed. What, then, are we to 
say of the Church of England under Mary ? "Was 
it the same Church with the Church under Edward 
or the same with the Church at the accession 
of Henry ? If the apostolicity of the Church under 
Mary be admitted, there appeared clearly to my 
mind an end to the present claim of the Churcri of 
England. The chain is broken. She cannot have 
her descent from that Church. She cannot connect 
herself with it. " Hence the high-churchmen tell 
us that under Mary every rule of ecclesiastical 
polity was violated ; that unjustifiable changes were 
made by the influence of the queen and of Gard 
ner, and that the Church of England was oppressed 
by a schismatical prelacy and clergy." * 

In regard to this objection, the following con 
siderations were to me a sufficient answer. First. 
What Henry VIII. did under his claim of suprem 
acy was, religiously, either lawful, or not lawful. 
If not lawful, then to undo what he had done, was 
the indispensable duty of Mary and her parliament. 
But if lawful, then surely she and her parliament 
had the same right, which he had exercised, to 
make changes ; and hence, if she saw fit, to restore 
religion to its ancient foundation. Particularly in 
the changes which Mary made in the episcopal 

* See Palmer, vol. i., 479. 


bench, she would have been fully justified on the 
principle adopted by Henry and accorded to him 
by the bishops, that the king, as supreme head of 
the Church, had the sole power of giving jurisdic 
tion. This principle is distinctly set forth in the 
words of the king s patent under Edward for mak 
ing bishops. " We name, make, create, constitute, 
and declare 1S T . Bishop of N., to have and to hold 
to himself the said bishopric during the term of his 
natural life, if for so long a time he behave himself 
well therein ; and we empower him to confer orders, 
to institute to livings, to exercise all manner of ju 
risdiction, and to do all that appertains to the epis 
copal or pastoral office, over and above the things 
known to have been committed to him by God in 
the Scriptures, in place of us, in our name, and by 
our royal authority." The whole episcopal juris 
diction was not only thus made to proceed original 
ly from the king, but the term of exercising it was 
placed at his will, and might, any moment, be ter 
minated at his pleasure, and even that of the royal 
visitors, as was seen to be the fact under both Henry 
and Edward. Hence that language already cited, 
as addressed to Henry by the suspended bishops, 
confessing that not only " all jurisdiction flowed 
from him," but also, that " they would be ready 
to deliver their jurisdiction up, ivhen he should 
be pleased to call for it." Now surely on this 
principle, thus admitted and thus acted upon in 
the two previous reigns, Mary was amply justified 
in restoring and regulating, as she did, the bench 


of bishops. But let it be recollected that she acted 
on higher grounds, viz., that what had been un- 
scripturally and vmcanonically done, to the hin- 
derance of true religion, by her father and brother, 
she was bound by the law of God and His Church 
to abolish. Besides, if, as Protestants assert, the 
feelings of the Church in England were ripe, un 
der Henry, for the Reformation, and rushed, as it 
was opened, into its arms for protection, what meant 
the sudden reaction under Mary towards the old 
religion ? How came it to pass that the Church 
and parliament were so soon sustained in their vig 
orous measures for its restoration ? This circum 
stance, after every explanation and gloss that Prot 
estantism could put upon it, seemed to me to ex 
pose, in a manner too clear and stern for sophistry 
to evade, the usual pleas put forth in justification 
of England s schism ! If Protestant represent a- 
tions of the state of England s mind and heart be 
true, if, as is said, there had been in her bosom 
such hatred of Catholic error and such yearning 
for Protestant truth, I could not understand how, 
when she had once been set free, once had a taste 
of the glorious liberty for which she had so long 
sighed, any power on earth should so soon have 
brought her back to what is call the despotism of 

* To use the language of a Protestant writer on this point, " all was over in 
nine days. London the stronghold of Protestantism declared enthusias 
tically for Mary. The fleet went over ; the troops which Northumberland 
attempted to gather in the eastern counties dese.Kted in a body. The con 
spiracy was crushed without a blow." 


And then, when Elizabeth, the stern and inex 
orable Protestant, at least by policy, succeeded to 
the throne, what a struggle to bow the neck of the 
Church again to the yoke which she had with com 
parative ease just thrown off ! And how manifest 
is it, that that neck would never have been made 
thus to bow, but for the power of the Lords of the 
land on the one hand, and the lowest of the people 
on the other. The one being too manifestly led 011 
by the lust of gain$ the other by the lust of licen 
tious freedom. 

The following appeared to me to be the facts of 
the case, as furnished by the Acts of Parliament, 
and the most reliable historians : 

Elizabeth, by the circumstances of her birth, and 
the adverse claims of Mary Stuart, found it neces 
sary, as she thought, to the preservation of her 
throne, to place herself at the head of the Prot 
estant cause in England. Measures were imme 
diately and secretly taken, to secure to her policy a 
majority in her first Parliament.* In this she was 

* Strype, in his " Annals," (1 Rec. No. iv.) gives a remarkable document 
relating to this matter, of which the following is an abstract of the plan 
recommended by Elizabeth s advisers to secure her throne. " L To prohibit 
strictly all innovations except by the Court. 2. To sow dissension, particu 
larly religious dissension, among the subjects of France and Scotland. 3. To 
persecute the bishops and clergy under penal laws, and particularly by prtemu- 
nire. 4. To labor to degrade all who had been in authority under the late 
dueen in the estimation of the people, by inquiries into their conduct, and 
legal prosecutions as far as possible. 5. To displace the existing magistrates, 
and substitute others, meaner in substance and younger in years. 6. To officer 
the militia with devoted partisans of the Court. 7. In like manner the uni 
versities to be looked after, and the discontented weeded out. 8. Her Majesty 
to hear Mass and go to Communion on High Feasts. 9. A committee of 
divines to draw up a plot, or book, <fcc." 



successful. Tlie statutes of Henry, her father, and 
Edward her brother, levelled at Papal authority, 
and concentrating all ecclesiastical and spiritual 
power in the crown, were, by the repeal of the 
enactments of the last reign, recalled into full 

It was enacted, too, that the Book of Common 
Prayer with certain alterations and additions should, 
to the exclusion of every thing else, be used by 
the ministers in all churches, under pain of for 
feiture, of privation, and of death ; that the spir 
itual authority of every foreign prelate within the 
realm should be utterly abolished ; that the juris 
diction necessary for the correction of errors, her 
esies, schisms, and abuses, should be annexed to 
the crown, with the power of delegating such juris 
diction to any person or persons whatever at the 
pleasure of the Sovereign ; that the penalty of as 
serting the Papal authority should ascend on the 
repetition of the offence from the forfeiture of real 
and personal property to perpetual imprisonment, 
and from perpetual imprisonment to death. And 
that all clergymen, &c., should, under pain of 
deprivation, take an oath, declaring the Queen to 
be supreme governor in all ecclesiastical and spirit 
ual things or causes . . . renouncing all foreign, 
ecclesiastical, and spiritual jurisdiction or authority 
whatsoever within the realm."* 

I observed in respect to these enactments that 

* See Statutes of Realm. Lord Paget declares that " the new Prayer Book 
was distasteful to eleventh tioelftlis of the population." 


the parliament of Elizabeth pursued a totally dif 
ferent course from that of the Parliament under 
Mary. While the latter did nothing, in respect to 
religion, but restore it to its original Catholic state 
and privileges, the former established new forms of 
worship, and unusual prerogatives of spiritual juris 
diction. Besides, while Mary acted in communion 
with the Church and under its approbation, I found 
that Elizabeth proceeded in defiance of it. Every 
bishop in the house, I saw by the journal, voted 
against these bills ; that the Convocation presented 
a document, amongst other things, protesting 
against the competency of any lay assembly to pro 
nounce on matters of " doctrine, worship, and dis 
cipline ; " and that the two Universities came to 
the aid of the Convocation, and subscribed the doc 
ument ; that even the lay opposition in the House 
of Lords was unusually large ; and that, if the Act 
relating to the Book of Common Prayer really 
passed at all, it was only by a majority of two or 
three. And this was obtained by the imprisonment 
of two bishops, and by raising five Commoners of 
the new faith to the peerage. Now, as these Acts 
are the real basis of the present Church of Eng 
land, I asked myself, how is it possible that this 
Church can be linked by uninterrupted succession 
with the Church of the Apostles ? 




THAT the present Church of England, and con 
sequently the daughter in America, stands upon the 
same foundation as- that of the Church of Elizabeth, 
is a fact too notorious to require more than to be 

That foundation is to my mind faithfully ex 
hibited in the following act of William IV. : " Wil 
liam IV., by the grace of God, of the united king 
dom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, defender 
of the Faith, to all to whom these presents shall 
come, greeting : WE, having confidence in the 
learning, morals, and probity of our well-beloved 
and venerable W. G. B., do name and appoint him 
to be bishop and ordinary pastor of the See of 

A , so that he shall be, and shall be taken 

to be, bishop of the Bishop s See, and may, by 
virtue of this our nomination and appointment, 
enter into and possess the said Bishop s See, as the 
bishop thereof, without any let or impediment of 
us ; and we do hereby declare that if we, our heirs 
and successors, shall think fit to recall or revoke the 

appointment of the said bishop of A , or his 

successors, that every such bishop shall, to all in 
tents and purposes, cease to be bishop of A 


And we do hereby give and grant to the said 

bishop of A , and his successors, bishops of 

A , full power and authority to confirm 

those that are baptized, &c., and to perform all 
other functions, peculiar and appropriate to a bishop, 

within the limits of the said See of A . And 

we do by these presents give and grant to the said 

bishop and his successors, bishops of A , full 

power and authority to admit into the holy orders 
of deacon and priest respectively, any person whom 
he shall deem duly qualified, and to punish and 
correct chaplains, ministers, priests, and deacons, 
according to their deserts."* 

Upon this examination and due reflection, I be 
came convinced, that, in regard to this source of 
mission or jurisdiction, the " Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States " stands on precisely 
the same foundation as does her mother the Angli 
can, and hence must share in any defects which the 
parliamentary system of Elizabeth may have en 
tailed upon that mother. 

* I was aware that it had been pleaded that the power of election is still in 
the hands of the Church. But the conge d elire, as lately so always, has 
proved to be an unmeaning form. The words of the statute most clearly 
make it so. They are as follows : " In virtue of which license [meaning the 
conge d elirc], the said dean and chapter shall with all speed and celerity (that 
is, within twelve days ), in due form, elect and choose the said person named [in 
the king s letters missive, sent with the license] to this dignity and office, 
and ?io other." Then the law provides that in case the dean and chapter fail 
to do this within the prescribed time, the duty of election devolves upon the 
Crown, and the dean and chapter incur the penalty of pramunire. Of this 
Bishop Gibson says, " The only choice the electors have under this restraint 
is, whether they will obey the king or incur a pramunire." Or, as Dr. John- 
soironce playfully remarked, " The Church has about the same choice in the 
election of her chief ministers, as a man flung out of a window has to choose 
a soft seat for himself when he gets to the bottom. " Vide Pretyman s "Ch. 
of England Sui^ugaieti," &c. (Masters,) 


1. The very application made to the Church 
of England to consecrate and send bishops to the 
United States, and the very objects of the mission 
of such bishops, what they were to "do and 
teach" under it, as set forth in the application, 
were framed and settled, not by the successors of 
Apostles, but by a convention, made up of some 
half dozen presbyters, and a few more laymen, the 
latter of whom, if we may believe the Memoirs of 
the American Church, by the Right Rev. and most 
venerable Dr. Colute, exercised a controlling influ 
ence. . This application, and the objects of the 
mission applied for, being duly considered by the 
government of England, an act of parliament 
" gave and granted," under certain specified condi 
tions and restrictions, to certain persons belonging 
to the United States, the power of episcopal juris 
diction. It is true this power was placed beyond 
the reach of the authority who gave it, and hence 
could not be revoked by that authority. Still the 
transfer by the very conditions of the grant, while 
it gave release from one lay power, subjected it 
virtually to another. Hence, by the constitutions 
and canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States, an absolutely controlling power 
is given to the laity in all questions, as well of faith 
as of mission. So that no point of doctrine can be 
settled no new diocese be formed no new 
bishop be sent no presbyter receive mission 
and so on, to the end of the chapter, without the 
express consent of the laity. And when we add to 


tins their fixed, canonical authority, the moral in 
fluence they must necessarily exercise over the 
clergy, in a system where the daily bread of the 
clergy is dependent upon their will,* we see that, 
in their release from the domination of the Anglican 
King and parliament, the American bishops have 
gained little in the way of an independent exercise 
of their mission. Here as there, instead of a real 
descent of authority, as the theory is, from the 
divine fountain, the stream is made to flow back 
ward and upward. Besides, in England and the 
United States there is a remarkable resemblance 
in the condition respectively of the lay powers.^ In 
both, these powers are irresponsible. Of the inde 
pendence of the king and English Parliament I will 
not speak ; but of the independence of the laity in 
the Protestant Episcopal Church where I was a 
bishop, I will say, that while the clergy are sub 
jected to strict and salutary discipline, not a canon 
nor a rubric exists which can make laymen even 
while exercising their functions in settling the faith 
and controlling the mission of the Church an 
swerable to any tribunal for the foulest heresy or 
the most rampant schism ! 

But, if this were not so, if no lay power what 
ever existed to control or modify the episcopal au 
thority and mission of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in America, the real character of that au 
thority and mission must depend upon the character 

* The support of the clergy in the U. S. depends upon voluntary contribu 
tions of the laity. , 


of the source from which, they are derived. So 
that any defect, I repeat, which the mother Church 
of England may have inherited from the system of 
Elizabeth, seemed to me clearly entailed upon the 
daughter in the United States ! 

Now then, I entreat my old friends to allow me 
to call their minds to that view of the mission and 
jurisdiction of the English Church, as established 
by Elizabeth, which destroyed my confidence in 
her claim to my submission. I asked myself not 
as a Catholic, not as a controversialist but as one 
deeply anxious to know the will of God, and to 
know, if possible, that that will would sustain me 
in my Protestant position I asked myself, who 
SENT Archbishop Parker ? * Who put the Gospel 
into his hand ? told - him what it contained ? what 
was the depositum of faith and sacraments and wor 
ship of the "One, Holy, Catholic Church" com 
mitted to him? and commissioned him to teach 
that faith, dispense those sacraments, and conduct 
that worship, and, when death should come to ter 
minate his apostolic work, to hand on that " de- 
positum " to the successors of the apostles yet to 
arise ? I made this appeal to my conscience again 
and again, Who thus sent the first archbishop of 
Elizabeth ? gave him mission to act in this or that 
way for God ? " 

When Elizabeth ascended the throne, I saw two 
powers only, who even claimed the right of spirit- 

* " For how can one preach except he be sent? " St. Paul. 


ual jurisdiction in England, and hence the right of 
giving mission to exercise " the office of a bishop in 
the Church of God ! " the Pope and the Queen ! 
The Pope, sustained in his authority by the whole 
Church* in England ; the Queen sustained by her 
parliament only. The Church, therefore, in Eng 
land could not have commissioned and sent this arch 
bishop. She was utterly against him. Against him, 
in her faith, her sacraments, her worship, her judg 
ment, her authority! She stood forth, with the 
successor of St. Peter at her hand, professing the 
Catholic faith, dispensing the Catholic sacraments, 
enforcing the Catholic ritual, and requiring all who 
went out under her authority to defend this faith, 
guard these sacraments, and observe this ritual ! 
The archbishop of Elizabeth appears, in defiance 
of the successor of St. Peter, professedly bearing 
another faith, other sacraments, and ordered and 
commissioned under another ritual ! Who sent 
him ? Whence derived he the authority to execute 
the office of a bishop in the mystical body of 
Christ, "the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic 
Ctu.rch?" Really, I could discern no authority 
earlier than the queen and parliament of England ! 
And, therefore, that my own commission to act for 
Christ had its origin in man ! f 

* It has been shown in the last chapter, that every Bishop, the convocation, 
and both universities, sided with the authority of the Roman Pontiffs. 
f Vide Allies "See of St. Peter," Burns and Lambert, London. 





IN 1534 the English, parliament, by formal act, 
severed the tie, which had hitherto bound the 
Church of England to the Catholic Church, by 
throwing off all allegiance to the See of St. Peter ; 
and on the plea that " in the realm of England no 
greater authority has been given by God in the 
Scripture to the Bishop of Rome, than to any other 
foreign bishop." 

When I approached this question I felt a degree 
of awe which I cannot well express, particularly as 
it presented a claim not only of the most fearful 
magnitude in itself, but also one, which, from its 
very nature, must determine irrevocably the duty 
of every Protestant who would be saved ; and 
hence my duty for time and for eternity ! 

I first looked narrowly at the words of the act 
itself; and was not a little surprised that any one 
not anxious to mislead, should have employed terms 
so equivocal. Not only were the special powers 
of the " Bishop of Rome " to be subjected to the 
test of Holy Scripture (a thing as we have seen, in 
its strict sense, most unreasonable in itself), but 
also tried in this mere diocesan title, in their claim 
to universal jurisdiction. Now the title " Bishop 


of Rome " may, with a Catholic, imply " the suc 
cession of St. Peter." But, in the mouth of a 
Protestant, I felt that it might more likely be de 
signed to express mere diocesan authority. In 
which case an extension of such authority to the 
island of England might, I saw clearly, be branded, 
and, without the aid of Scripture, as a usurpation. 
For the Pope, as the bishop of the diocese of Rome 
merely, I had been led to believe, had no more 
claim to jurisdiction beyond that diocese, than any 
other bishop had to jurisdiction beyond his partic 
ular see. But a little examination convinced me 
that no such claim had ever been set up that no 
such jurisdiction had ever been exercised. That, 
on the contrary, the claim to jurisdiction in the 
island of England, rested upon a claim to jurisdic 
tion over the whole Catholic Church, and that this 
devolved upon the Bishop of Rome as the successor 
of St. Peter Rome being, in the Providence of 
God, the Apostolic See ; so that the language of 
the act failed to place before the mind a fair detini- 
tion of the case ; as it tended in my view to con 
found that diocesan authority which the bishop of 
Rome, as bishop, held in common with all other 
bishops, with that supreme jurisdiction, which, as 
the successor of St. Peter, he had above and be 
yond all others. Hence the question submitted to 
the Church of England by Henry, ought, in my 
humble judgment, to have been not whether 
"the bishop of Rome" has authority in England 
but whether England was not bound as a mem 


ber of the One, Holy Catholic,, Apostolic Church/ 
to submit to the See of St. Peter at Rome, as, by 
the providence of God, the centre of unity and the 
source of jurisdiction in that Church ! 

Under this form of the question, I approached 
with trembling steps and a supplicating heart the 
great and all-absorbing point, as it seemed to me, 
between Protestantism and the Catholic Church, 

Having derived my authority from the Church 
of Henry through Elizabeth, I was compelled, more 
or less, to view this point as exhibited in the claim 
of spiritual supremacy, on the part of the king, 
contrasted with the claim of the spiritual suprem 
acy of the See of ST. PETER in the person of the 
Bishop of Home. 

I first asked myself, what is the common-sense 
view of the case ? Which claim seems most likely 
to be well founded ? 

By the declarations of holy Scripture the Church 
was presented to me as "One Body in Christ." 
By the uniform teaching of the Fathers I found 
this idea : " The Church, one, undivided, indivisi 
ble," fastened upon the minds and hearts of all the 
faithful in the age next to the Apostles. The 
Church " one ; " not separated by national distinc 
tions, but one " holy nation," gathered out of all 
the unholy nations, and bound together by the 
bonds of strictest unity, and animated by a spirit 
which at once raised it above all earthly associa 
tions, and gave it a power to control and fashion 
them to its will. Which claim, under this view 


of the Church, a view generally admitted among 
Protestants in theory, seems most likely to be 
well founded ? most commends itself to my under 
standing ? A claim founded in universal jurisdic 
tion) or a claim based upon mere national preroga 
tive ? A claim upheld by spiritual sanctions, or a 
claim enforced by temporal power ? A claim hav 
ing its source in an apostle, linked, by its very 
nature, to that old foundation upon which Christ 
promised to build His Church ; or a claim traceable 
to no higher date, and connected with no purer 
source, than a corrupt son of the race of Tudors ? 

Pressed by such an alternative, who can wonder 
that my mind became predisposed to yield to the 
claim of the Holy Roman See ? 

2. To this was added a further consideration. 
I cast my eye over the history of mankind, and 
found that every association, from the most widely- 
spread kingdoms to the narrowest circle of friend 
ship, was blessed with a head ; that the very instincts 
of our nature seemed to lead to this every where 
as necessary to secure unity of purpose and action. 
I contemplated the Church of God ; a society, not 
only made up of persons brought together out of 
all societies, but under the solemn necessity of be 
ing and remaining so perfectly joined together, as 
to " speak the same things, and to be of the same 
mind and same judgment ; " thus " keeping the 
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." And I 
asked myself, " If it be reasonable, that a society, 
whose unity is to be the closest in the world, should 


be composed of creatures of the world, and called 
to act in the world, and upon the world, and still 
be the only body in the world without a distinct, 
governing head ? " The thing appeared to me in 
consistent with the uniform wisdom and love of 
God, expressed in the order of His providence, 
and hence not to be admitted as a reality! 

True, it was urged upon me that the Church is 
emphatically a spiritual body, and by its very con 
stitution, has Christ for its head. To so manifest 
and vital a fact, of course, I could not object ; but 
to my mind it did not meet the difficulty. For I 
perceived the Church to be, not only a spiritual, 
but a visible, body. Knit together by visible ties 
governed by visible laws exercising visible 
functions contending with visible enemies 
maintaining a visible fellowship ; and hence, so far 
as I could see, requiring a visible, ruling authority. 
Now, while our Lord was upon earth, it seemed 
reasonable, that He should, in His own person, 
exercise that authority be, in the fullest sense, 
our head be both spiritually and visibly " our 
prophet, priest, and king." But after His ascen 
sion, I could see no way of perpetuating the visible 
part of that authority, but by a visible representa 
tive. This was admitted, by most Protestants, to 
have been done in the case of both His prophetical 
and priestly authority. And I could not perceive 
why it should not have been done also in respect 
to His kingly authority. If to express and insure 
His abiding invisible presence a visible representa 


tive in the one case was needed, why not in the 
other? To preserve the Church in her original 
form, and enable her to fulfil her true destiny as 
" the body of Christ/ the visible kingly authority 
must, it struck me, be, at least, as essential as any 
other. But this kingly authority, by .the very 
nature of it, could be represented by a single per 
son only at a time. That while the prophetical 
and priestly functions might, in the same kingdom, 
be shared by many, the kingly power was obliged 
to be centred in one. I felt, therefore, that be 
fore entering upon the proof of the fact, there was 
a strong antecedent probability of its truth, in a 
Church having one Lord, one faith, one baptism ; 
and hence a strong probability, that in casting 
from her the jurisdiction of St. Peter, the English 
Church had cast from her the institution of God. 

3. This was not all. As a fact, I saw the pri 
macy of St. Peter standing before me. A Bishop 
of Home was actually exercising jurisdiction over 
the whole Catholic Church, as a successor in the 
see of that Prince of the Apostles, and as a matter 
of history had been exercising it since the infancy 
of the Christian Faith. Every description of ad 
verse power had been leagued against it, and every 
sort of stratagem been employed for its overthrow ; 
still this centre of jurisdiction stood. Surrounding 
Patriarchates had been consumed by heresy or 
broken in pieces by time,* but this stood. King- 

* See an able discussion of this point by Robert Belaney, M. A., late Vicar 
of Arlington, &,c., in a letter to the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. 


dom after kingdom had been swept into oblivion 
from its side, yea, from its very embrace, yet this 
stood in all the vigor of its maturity, fulfilling its 
original functions, and wielding a power, greater, 
perhaps, in its moral character, than at any former 
period. Now, how could I account for this fact 1 
The question was deeply solemn, and demanded of 
me a solemn answer. To say that, by impercepti 
ble gradations it arose to this giant height, would 
be, to my mind, asserting, from the very nature of 
the thing, an impossibility. For I could see no 
gradations between the power allowed and the 
power claimed, no steps across that wide chasm 
which separates patriarchal from universal jurisdic 
tion ! To say that, at some unguarded moment, 
the Church had allowed this power to spring into 
existence, would not satisfy a mind already wearied 
, with assertion and demanding unquestionable his 
torical proof. Bat no such proof had been offered. 
And as to mere presumption, it was utterly against 
the idea. To suppose such an enormous power to 
have been unlawfully assumed (when the assump 
tion must have touched the very quick of human 
pride and ambition throughout the world), and 
without leaving a single trace of the fact in history, 
would, to say the least, hardly be expected to meet 
the demands of a disturbed and wakeful mind ; 
particularly as such assumption had never been 
charged by any of all the turbulent spirits, who, 
for heresy, or other cause, were, in early times, 
tin-own off from the Catholic Church by means of 


this very prerogative of the See of St. Peter.* 
Be it recollected, however, that I here speak of the 
origin, by assumption, of this universal jurisdiction. 
That in its exercise, at various periods, it came 
into collision with kings and other temporal pow 
ers, my mind fully admitted ; but I perceived that 
the fact only gave additional strength to my posi 
tion, by showing that if this power of the Roman 
See so often, in its steady spiritual progress through 
the world, stirred up against itself the wrath of 
princes, how much more was it likely to have done 
so in the outset of an attempt to " lord it over 
God s heritage " (on the principle that it was origi 
nally an assumption), and hence how much more 
may we expect to find a record of the strife for 
which we look in vain. 

In case, therefore, that I continued to resist the 

* I am indebted to the invaluable labors of Cardinal Maius, to which I 
have alluded in a note at p. 172, for a remarkable testimony of an adversary 
to the Supremacy of the Holy See. Ben. Assali, a monophysite heretic, writing 
on the famous Arabic Nicenc Canons, gives the one relating to that See as 
teaching the true doctrine concerning it. The words are as follows : "Sicut 
patriarcha imperio et auctoritate erga sibi subjectos praditus e.-t, ita Roma 
Dominiis auctoritate erga omnea patriarchas pallet ; quoniani ipse primus est, 
tainquam Petrtis ; quatenus hie videlicet auctoritate super omnes Christiani- 
tatis prasules fruebatur et erga multitiidinem ex qua ilia conflatur: utpote 
Christi Domini Nostri successor, populo ejus ecclesiisque praepositus," " As 
the Patriarch is invested with supreme rule and authority over his subjects, 
so the Bishop of Rome has a supremacy of jurisdiction over all the patriarchs, 
since he has the primacy of St. Peter, so far as this, viz., that he is to enjoy 
the chief government of all the bishops of the Christian Church, and of the 
members which compose it ; so that, as the successor of our Lord, he is 
placed over His Church and people." Tom. vi. p. 548. 

It will be perceived that I have used this simply as testimony forced from 
an honest heretic who is suffering under the sentence of a power, the just 
authority of which he feels bound to admit. And that I do it without giving 
any opinion as to the genuineness of the Canon which he cite.3. 


jurisdiction of the Apostolic See, I felt bound to 
account to myself for the fact of its existence on 
other grounds than those claimed for it by its sup 
porters ; and that the burden of proof, under the 
circumstances, rested entirely upon myself. The 
Sovereign, in the full exercise of his kingly prerog 
atives, is not called upon surely to justify himself 
before every subject who may choose to question 
his authority or place himself in an attitude of 

From this view of the case I went to the written 
Word of God as understood and acted upon by the 
primitive Church. 

The first thing that struck me, as connected with 
this subject, was the language of our blessed Lord 
to Simon, upon His introduction to him. " Thou 
art Simon, the son of Jonas, but thou shalt be 
called Cephas, (or Peter, or Rock.) " -St. John 
i. 3542. The purpose of this change of name (a 
name which the Divine Head of the Church had 
hitherto appropriated to Himself *) became manifest 

* Isaiah xxviii. 16 j Ps. cxvii. 22 ; Dan. ii. 35 ; Zach. iii. 9 ; Ep. ii. 20. This 
change of Simon s name is significantly mentioned by the first three Evange 
lists. St. Matthew says : " The first, Simon, who is called Peter, (or rock.) " 
St. Mark says: "To Simon he gave the name of Peter, or ror.L" St. Luke 
says : " Simon, whom he also named Peter, or rock. Concerning this change, 
Tertullian says : " Why did He (our Lord) call him Peter 1 If for the strength 
of his faith, many solid substances would lend him a name from themselves. 
Or was it because Christ is both the rock and the stone ? Since we read He is 
set for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. And so it was His pleas 
ure to communicate to the dearest of His disciples, in a peculiar manner, a 
name drawn from the figures of Himself, as being nearer, I imagine, than ono 
drawn from figures not of Himself." St. Ambrose says : " Great is the grace 
of Christ, who bestowed almost all His names on His disciples. . . .Christ is 
the Rock, bat yet He did not deny the grace of this name to His disciple. 
That he. should bo Peter, Rock, because he has from the Rock firm constancy, 


when in process of time Jesus said to him, on occa 
sion of his solemn profession of faith : " Thou art 
Peter, (or Cephas}, and upon this rock I will build 
My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of 
the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what 
soever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in 
heaven." Matt. xvi. 18. These passages viewed 
in conjunction, and with the circumstances under 
which they were spoken, conveyed to my mind 
clearly and almost necessarily these truths. 1. 
That the change of St. Peter s name from Simon 
to Cephas (Rock), was designed as a preparation 
for the promise afterwards made to him, that the 
Church should be built upon him as the house of 
the wise man is " built upon a rock." 2. That 
with such a foundation the Church would never be 
overcome by its adversaries. 3. That in order to 
enable St. Peter thus to sustain the Church by the 
invisible power of Christ, he was made Christ s 
visible representative, being invested with a pri 
macy or supremacy of jurisdiction, denoted by 
" the keys of the kingdom of heaven " given him 
by our Lord, which, viewed in connection with 

Immovable faith." So says Origen : " He said he should be called Peter, 
by allusion to the Rock, which is Christ ; that as a man from wisdom id 
termed wise, and from holiness holy, so, too, Peter from the Rock." So St. 
Leo represents Christ as saying to Peter, " While I am the inviolable Rock, 
the corner stone, who make both one, the foundation, beside which no one 
can lay another : yet thou also art the rock, because, by My virtue, thou art 
established so as to enjoy, by participation, the properties which are peculiar to 
Me." The above I have taken as translated by Allies. 


Isaiah xxii. 22, and Rev. iii. 7, significantly point 
to the possession of supreme and kingly authority. 

But this natural sense of the passages of Scrip 
ture, I found confirmed by the uniform and decisive 
voice of the earliest Fathers. I say decisive, as all 
true Anglicans profess to concur with St. Vincent 
of Lerins, that " they approve the faith in two 
ways ; first, by the authority of divine Scripture, 
and then by tradition of the Catholic Church. It 
is necessary (he says) that the interpretation of 
heavenly Scripture be guided according to the one 
rule of the ecclesiastical sense."* 

I turned to Tertullian, and he said : " "Was any 
thing hidden from Peter, who was called the rock, 
and whereon the Church was built and who ob 
tained the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and 
the power of loosing and of binding in heaven and 
on earth ? " f To Origen, who said : " Observe 
what is said by the Lord to that great foundation 
of the Church, and to the most solid rock, upon 
which Christ founded the Church, ( O thou of -little 
faith, why didst thou doubt ? " J Who said again 
" That Peter should have something peculiar above 
those (meaning the other disciples) ; this was pre- 

* Ut fidem veram duobus his modis approbent. Pnmum divini canonis 
auctoritate, deinde ecclesiae Catholics traditione. . . . Utad imam ecclesiastic! 
sensus regulam Scriptune coelestis intelligentia dirigatur. Adv. Hares, n. 

f Latuit aliquid Petrum, sedificandie ecclesia; petram dictum, claves regm 
coelorum consecutum, et solvendi et alligandi in coelis, et in terris potestatem 
De Prescript. H&rct n. 22. 

J Ecclesite fundaments et petra solidissiina;, super quatn Christus funda 
vit ecclesiam*&c. T. ii. Horn. v. in Exod. n. 4. 


viously ordained separately respecting Peter ; thus 
I will give to THEE the keys of the kingdom of 
heaven ; and truly, if we sedulously attend to 
the Gospel writings, even in them we may discover, 
even in regard to those things which seem to be 
common to Peter, and to those (the other disciples), 
much difference and preeminence in the words 
spoken to Peter beyond those spoken to in the 
second place." * To St. Cyprian, who said : " Her 
self (the Church) was founded first and alone by 
the voice of our Lord upon Peter." f " First to 
Peter, upon whom He built the Church, and from 
whom He instituted and showed that unity should 
spring ; } the Lord gave this power that that should 
be loosed in heaven which he should have loosed 

on earth." Who said again : " Whither shall 

he come that thirsteth ? To heretics, where the 
fountain and river of water is noway lifegiving 
or to the Church, which is one, and was by the 
voice of the Lord founded upon one, who also re 
ceived the keys thereof ?" To St. James of 
Nisibis, || who said : " Simon, the head of the 
Apostles Our Lord received him, and made 

* Kul EV TOVTOIS vpoint> &v KOI Kara TOLVTO. ra doKOWTO. tlvai xoiva irpog 
rov KCTpnv Kal TOVS rpls vovOcrfiaavras TOVS dfc\<j)ovs, xoX\r]i> Sia^opav, Kai 
iiirepoxnv IK TWV Trpdg rov Herpov eiprjucvuv napa TOVS fcvTtpov;. T. iii. in 
Matt. Tom. xiii. n. 31. 

f Ipsa prima et una super Petrum Domini voce fundata. 

| Nam Petro priinum Dominus, super quern sdificavit ecclesiam, et uncle 

tinitatis originem instituit et ostendit potestatem istara dedit Ep. 

Ixxiii. ad Jabaian. 

$ Qute una est, et super unum, qui et claves ejus accepit, Domini voce fun- 
data est, &c. Ibid. 

j| Who sat in the great Council of Nicsa. 



Mm the foundation, ami called him the rock of 
the edifice of the Church." Or at. vii. De Pcenit. 
n. 6. To St. Hilary, who said : " The Son of God 
took up Peter, to whom He had just before given 
the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and upon 
whom He was ahout to build the Church,* against 
which the gates of hell should never prevail, who, 
whatsoever he should bind or loose on earth, should 
be bound and loosed in heaven." To St. Cyril of 
Jerusalem, who said : " In the power of the same 
Holy Spirit, Peter also, the foremost of the Apos 
tles, and the keybearer of the kingdom of heaven,f 
healed ^Eneas, the paralytic, in the name of 
Christ." To St. Gregory of Nyssa, who said: 
" The memory of St. Peter, the head of the Apos 
tles, is celebrated For he is, agreeably to the 

gift conferred on him by our Lord, that unbroken 
and most firm rock, upon which the Lord built 
His Church." J To St. Gregory of Nazianzum, 
who writes, " Seest thou that, of the disciples of 
Christ, all of whom were great and deserving 
of His choice ; one is called a rock, and is intrusted 
with the foundations of the Church ? " and again, 
" Peter became the unbroken rock, and had tho 
keys delivered to him." To St. Basil, who said 

* Super quern ecclesiam cedificaturus erat. Tract, in Ps. cxxxi. n. 4. 

f FIpwrotrrdTJ?? ru>v d-xoaroXuv KOL rr/s flaviXctas TOJV ovpavaiv K\tSovx^ 
Trpwroo-T arris .- The word translated foremost, is used three times by St. Cyril, 
and implies, says a learned writer and critic, " the chief and Prince." Cat. 
xvii. n. 27. 

J Mvrif.iovvrai TTETJOOS J? KC(f>a\r] rutv airoar6\u>v. . .nvrog yap iari Kara rr r v 
3o9slo.iv avTM xapa TOV icvpiov tupwv rj appaxnSKal oxvpwrar?? niTpa,i<f> fi, 
rriv KK\rjaiav b Samyo a)KoJoju>?0. 

$ O piv ~.rpa Ka^tirat, xal rouj 6sni\iovs rris KK\r](jia.s iriartvErai 
T. i. or. xxvi. 


" One of these mountains was Peter, upon which 
rock Christ promised to build His Church."* 
And again ; " That blessed Peter, who was pre 
ferred (TTQoxyldtl;) before all the disciples ; who 
alone received a greater testimony and blessing 
than the rest ; he to whom were intrusted the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven." T. ii. p. i. Proam. 
de Judic. Dei, n. 7. To St. Epiphanius, who said, 
ff The blessed Peter was the chiefest of the Apos 
tles, who became unto us truly a firm rock, upon 
which is based the Lord s faith, upon which rock 
the Church is every way built," f &c. To St. Am 
brose, who said, " < Thou art Peter, and upon this 
rock I will build my Church, and to thee will I 
give the keys, &c. How, could He not confirm 
His faith, unto whom, of His own authority, He gave 
the kingdom, and whom, when He styled a < rock, 
He pointed out the foundation of the Church ? " J 
To St. Jerome, who said, " In accordance with the 
metaphor of a < rock is justly said to him (Peter), 
I will build my Church on thee." T. vii. 1. iii. 
in St. Matt. To St. Chrysostom, who said, " When 
I name Peter, I name that unbroken < rock, that 
firm foundation, that great apostle, that first of the 
disciples. . ." T. ii. 1. i. in Ep. ad Galat. To St. 
Asterius : " The only begotten as is said in the 

* E0 ?7f Kal nTpos IrrriyyeiXaTO b Kvptos oiKo&op.riaiiv avrov TIJV CKxXri- 
ciav. T. i. p. ii. Conini. in Isai., c. ii. n. 66. 

f Konvtiatorarns rwi> dffoortfAwi , 05 ysyovev ifjisv aAr/9o>f artpta irirpa 
6eii\iova-a rr,v -iziv rnv Kvpiov, ifi f] c5ffOc5<f/*J7TO )/ KK\t]cria Kara reavTO. rpo- 
nov. Ada. Hares. (59). 

J Quern cum Petram (licit, firmamentum ecclesito indicavit. T. ii. 1. iv. d 
Fide, c. v. 


Gospels denominates Peter the Church s founda 
tion. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will 
build my Church." * 

Here, therefore, I found a consensus of Fathers 
up to Augustine, all interpreting the texts above 
cited, in their natural obvious sense ; making St. 
Peter the " rock," upon which Christ built the 
Church, and ascribing to him, through his posses 
sion of the keys of " the kingdom of heaven," uni 
versal jurisdiction. 

Upon going to St. Augustine himself, I found, 
as we shall see hereafter, the strongest claims of 
preeminence for the See of St. Peter. And, in 
one place, an interpretation of Matt. xvi. 18, which 
makes St. Peter the " rock ; " f although subse- 

* QefiS^iov TOV nsrpov dvondgei T?JS KK\rjuias, Ilomil. in Apost. Prin. 
Petr. ct Paul. t. i. 

f T. ii. Ep. liii. Gene?oes. Col. 180. "If the order of Bishops succeeding to 
each other is to be considered, how much more securely and beneficially do 
we reckon from Peter himself, to whom, bearing a figure of the Church, the 
Lord says, Upon this rock Twill build my Church. " See the case of St. Augus 
tine ably discussed by Father Passaglia. Here, however, I would further 
observe, that while St. Augustine changed the interpretation of the passage in 
Matthew, he did not change his doctrine. While his wish to use the passage 
against the Arians, and his want of knowledge of the Syrian language, led 
him to an interpretation which favored this wish, ho still looked upon St 
Peter as the foundation of the Church, and his See at Rome as the necessui 
centre of unity and authority in the Catholic Church. 

Since writing the above, a kind friend has put into my hand the splendid 
edition of the before unpublished works of St. Augustine and other Fathers, 
by that eminent scholar, Cardinal Mains; froin which I cite the following 
new authority from that Saint : " Most dear brethren, he is guilty of both errc.r 
and crime, who shall ascribe to the jlpostle Peter, that is, to the foundation of the 
Chtirch, any thing- of unfaittifalness." Fratres carisMmi, aut erroris (reus) est 
aut delicti, qui Petro Apostolo, hoc rst, ecclesice fundamento, aliquid infidelitatia 
ndtfcribit. Angst. Patrum JW/u- i Bib. Romas. Tijp. Sac. Concl. Propagand. ch. 
Nov. 1852-3. Serm. lii. c. 1. in Nutale Sane. Pctri. This work embraces six 
large quarto volumes of Fathers never before given to the world. 


quently, I found him applying the term to our 
Lord ; which seemed to me very natural, in a con 
troversy with the Arians, where his object was to 
show that the true doctrine of the divinity and 
incarnation of Christ lay at the foundation of his 
Church. And when,, too, I observed that the 
Fathers generally made St. Peter the " rock/ sim 
ply because he became, as Christ s visible represen 
tative, identified with Him as the chief corner 
stone, and drew all his power of endurance, and all 
his ability to sustain the Church from Christ s pres 
ence with. him. Hence the beautiful and striking 
words of St. Leo : " That which the Truth ordered 
remains ; and blessed Peter persisting in that 
strength of the rock which he received, has not 
deserted the guidance, once undertaken, of the 
Church. For thus was he set before the rest, that 
while he is called the Rock, while he is declared 
the foundation, while he is appointed the door 
keeper of the kingdom of heaven, while he is ad 
vanced to be judge of what shall be bound and 
what loosed, with the condition that his sentence 
shall be ratified even in heaven, we might learn 
through the very mysteries of the names given to 
him, how he was associated with Christ."* Thus 
to cite, even at the risk of apparent repetition of 
an able writer St. Peter is termed, by St. Hilary, 
"the rock of the Church," by Tertullian, "the 
rock of the Church that was to be built," by St. 

* St. Leo, Serm. 3, " On his anniversary. 



Basil, " underlying the building of the Church/ 

by St. Basil again, " receiving on himself the 
building of the Church," by St. Epiphanius, 
"the immovable rock," by St. Augustine, "the 
rock which the proud gates of hell prevail not 
against," by Theodoret, " the most solid rock," 

by Maximus of Turin, " he to whom the Lord 
granted the participation of His own title the rock," 

by St. Gregory of Nazianzen, " tlie foundation 
second from Christ," by Origen, " the great 
foundation of the Church," by the Gallican 
Sacramentary, "the foundation and basis," by 
Peter Chrysologus, " founding the Church by his 
firmness," by St. Ambrose, "the support of the 
Church," by him again, " the Apostle in whom 
is the Church s support," by St. Chrysostom, 
"the support of the faith," -by St. Philip, "the 
pillar of the Church," and by an authority suf 
ficient to terminate all controversy, the great Coun 
cil of Chalcedon, "the rock and foundation of the 
Catholic Church, and the basis of the Orthodox 

Now, when I discovered so unanimous and de 
cided a voice among the Fathers of five centuries 
after Christ, in favor of making the " rock " (Matt. 
xvi. 18.) St. Peter, and ascribing to him the powers 
couched under the metaphors of that passage ; and 
when I recollected the reverence which I had al 
ways been taught to accord to these Fathers, it 

* For the above references, see Passaglia, p. 400. 


seemed to me something worse than presumption 
to withhold my concurrence. 

There is another passage, however, which, in the 
course of my examination, I found great stress laid 
upon, by these same Fathers. It is that in which 
St. Peter seems to be made our Lord s representa 
tive, as chief pastor or shepherd of His flock. 
When our Lord, on one occasion had been speak 
ing of Himself "as the Good Shepherd, giving His 
life for the sheep," he made reference to the time, 
after His ascension, when the Gentiles should be 
brought into His Church, and concluded His speech 
with these remarkable words, and " there shall be 
one fold and one shepherd." The " fold " was cer 
tainly to be visible. But a visible fold would re 
quire, in my view, a visible shepherd. Christ, 
however, had ascended ; who, then, as chief shep 
herd, was to be His visible representative over His 
"one" visible "fold?" 

The following instructions* of our Lord ap 
peared to me to answer this question : 

" When, therefore, they had dined, Jesus saith 
to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, lovest thou 
me more than these 1 He saith to Him, Yea, Lord, 
Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith to him, 
feed my lambs. He saith to him again, Simon, son 
of John, lovest thou me ? He saith to Him, Yea, 
Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith 
to him, feed my lambs. He saith to him the third 

* St. John sxi. 15-17. 


time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me ? Peter 
was grieved because He said to him the third time, 
lovest thou me ? And he said to Him, Lord, Thou 
knowest all things ; Thou knowest that I love 
Thee. He saith to him, Feed my SHEEP." Here, 
to my mind, our Lord conferred upon St. Peter 
the chief pastorship. For he was not only to feed 
the "lambs," young Christians but also the 
" sheep," all the flock ministers and people. Or 
as St. Ambrose expresses it, " that the one more 
perfect might govern the more perfect." (Pcr- 
fectores ut perfectior gubernaret.) Or, as our Lord 
expresses it : " Thou being converted confirm thy 
brethren." And as the office of chief pastor seemed 
to me more than any other to need a double por 
tion of that charity which suffereth long and is 
kind ; " which could take the lambs in its arms 
and " gently lead those that are with young ; " I saw 
a peculiar significance and force in the thrice re 
peated question of our Lord, " Simon, lovest thou 
me ? " Lovest thou me, too, more than these, the 
other disciples ? " Peter was grieved," exclaims 
the holy Ambrose, " because he is asked the third 
time, Lovest thou me ? For he is questioned, who 
is doubted. The Lord does not doubt ; and He 
inquires, not to learn, but to teach, (now that He 
is about to be raised to heaven) whom He was 
leaving unto us, as it were, the vicar of His own 
love. (Amoris sui nobis, vclut vicarium relinque- 
bat.) For thus you have it, Simon, son of John, 
lovest thou me ? Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that 


I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my 
sheep. . .Who else could readily make this profes 
sion for himself ? And, therefore, because he alone 
amongst all makes this profession, he is preferred 
before all (Omnibus antefertur). For love is 
greater than all. . .And he is not ordered, as at 
first, to feed His lambs ; nor His younger sheep, 
as in the second, but His sheep, that the one more 
perfect may rule the more perfect." T. i. Expos, 
in Luc. 1. x. n. 175. 

On looking further into the Fathers, therefore, I 
was not surprised to find Tertullian affirming, that 
"when the chief direction, as regards the feeding 
of the sheep, was delivered to Peter, on whom, as 
on the earth, the Church is founded.* Of no other 
virtue was the confession required than that of 
love." T. iv. lib. 5, in Ep. ad Rom. n. 10. 

Also St. Cyprian, saying, Peter also to whom 
the Lord commends His sheep to be fed and 
guarded, on whom He laid and founded the 
Church,f says that gold and silver he has none, 
but declares that he is rich in Christ s grace." 
Also St. Epiphanius, saying, "He (Peter) heard 
from that same God, Feed my lambs ; to him was 
intrusted the flock, he leads the way admirably in 
the power of his own Master." J T. ii. In Anchor. 

* Petro cum summa renim de pascendis ovibus traderetur, et super ipsum 
velut super terrain, fundaretur ecclesia. 

t Patrus etiam cui oves suas Doniinus pascendas tuendas, que commendat, 
uper quern posuit et fundavit ecclesiam. 
J O irsvifftvuivos TTJV nui^vTjv 6 KoAwf SJ/j/wv iv rq dvvapei TOV iSio* 


n. 9. Also St. Ambrose, saying, " In fine, Peter, 
after having been tempted by the devil, is set over 
the Church* The Lord, therefore, foreshadowed 
what that was (Luke xxii. 31, 3,) that He after 
wards chose him pastor of His flock. For to him 
He said, Thou, when converted, confirm thy 
brethren. . . . Therefore did Christ also commit to 
Peter to feed His flock, because He knew his 
fouc."t T. i. in Ps. cxviii. n. 3. 

Nothing more, therefore, was needed to make it 
certain in my mind, that the Fathers understood 
Holy Scripture, as teaching that our blessed Lord 
invested St. Peter with a primacy or supremacy of 
jurisdiction in His Church, and made him chief 
pastor thereof, and in such a sense as that he is 
the source of all visible authority and of all visible 
unity in the Church, and when acting or teaching 
as the Church s visible head and representative, is 
to Christ s people an infallible guide to the truth. 
Otherwise, he could not be made the " foundation 
of His Church," so as that " the gates of hell should 
not prevail against it," could not be " set over 
it," so as to loose it from sin, could not "feed " it, 
so as that it shall be led into all truth, and nour 
ished up unto everlasting life ! 

In truth I could not see how it should be possi 
ble for an honest Anglican, who, as all Anglicans 
profess, took the word of God as interpreted by 

* Petrus ecclesis pneponitur. 

f Ante significat Dominus quid sit illud, qund poptea eum Pastorem elegit 
Dominici gregis. T. i. in Ps. xi. n, 30. 


"the authority of Catholic tradition," to come 
to any other conclusion ! 



THAT 110 regular treatise on the Primacy of St. 
Peter, no labored defence of his prerogatives, should 
be found in the records of the early Church, was 
to me no matter of surprise. A thing that stands 
before the world as a fact, and is acknowledged in 
the every-day acts of the Christian, is not likely, I 
thought, to be drawn into dispute, and hence to 
require explanation or defence. In a Christian 
nation, a treatise or sermon on the Being of a God 
is generally considered out of place. Indeed, the 
more notorious a truth, the less, in most cases, is 
said about it. To find, therefore, at this day, a 
labored attempt professedly on the part of some 
Fathers of the first centuries to prove or justify the 
papal supremacy, would, to my mind, be rather 
a suspicious circumstance. The want, therefore, 
of very abundant documentary proof, sometimes 
pleaded against the claim, I could only regard as 
favorable to it ; just as I had, all my life, in regard 
to the claims of episcopacy, or of any thing else 
in the Church which stood before it as a fact, or 


entered into its order and discipline. I felt, too., 
that tliis position is strengthened by the fact, that 
for three centuries at least after Christ, almost un 
ceasing persecution would necessarily have the 
effect, as I have mentioned above, to make records 
of all Christian facts and truths exceedingly rare. 

Notwithstanding this, however, I found that the 
Church is in possession of just such proof of the 
primacy of St. Peter as the circumstances of the 
time might be expected to furnish proof so 
woven into her very being, as to be given out, here 
and there, as she moves along in the fulfilment of 
her holy office, through the generations of men. 
We trace her progress through the days of dark 
ness and blood, and always find the distinct foot 
prints of her spiritual guide the successor of St. 

A few of these only, in comparison with the 
multitude that were opened to my view when ex 
amining the question, can I now submit to my old 
friends, at the same time referring them to the mas 
terly work of Father Passaglia, the substance of 
which has recently been presented in an English 
dress, with some strong additional points, by Mr. 
Allies, in his book entitled ST. PETER, His NAME 

Already have I exhibited to you a sufficient ab 
stract of the scriptural basis as understood by the 
Fathers, on which I perceived the claims of the See 
of St. Peter to rest with all reasonable security. 
The final question is, are these claims good in all 


ages, and was the English Church committed to 
them in the beginning, and did it continue to be up 
to the Reformation ? 

1. In the first place, the grounds on which the 
Fathers urge these claims made them necessary, in 
my view, for all Christians during all time. I 
shall select the one which was irresistible with my 
self, The preservation of Unity in the Church, 
and the perpetuation of its blessings. This unity 
I found to be tivofold, or, like all sacraments, to 
consist of two parts, " an outward visible sign and 
an inward spiritual grace," the first part being in 
strumental to the second. Now the " inward spir 
itual grace" of unity is made to depend solely 
upon Christ the Head of the Church, " which is 
His body." Through His Incarnation, I was 
taught, by His Word and by His Church, that He 
linked Himself to our nature. So that when we 
arc baptized into Him, we become new creatures 
in Him, are " ingrafted into Him as the branch is 
ingrafted into the vine," are all " made partakers 
of His One Spirit." * Now, as our Spiritual Head, 
the Divine Source of Unity, Christ is to main 
tain His relation to us . o the end of the world. 
For this He has promised, " Lo, / am with you all 
days." But to fulfil this promise of invisible com 
munion with us, He appointed a visible instru 
mentality to act in His " stead." " A single Priest 
hood," as said a holy Father f fifteen hundred and 

* See Passaglia and Allies on this point. 
f Symniachus, Bishop of Rome. 



fifty years ago, "whose power is one and indivisi 
ble." For although "He gave some apostles, some 
prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and doc 
tors," yet it was by perfect oneness of action to 
effect one great purpose, viz., " the edifying of the 
body of Christ, till we all meet into the unity of 

faith unto a perfect man, unto the measure 

of the age of the fulness of Christ. That hence 
forth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, 
and carried about with every wind of doctrine. 
But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things 
grow up in Him who is the head, even Christ." 

I saw at a glance, therefore, how vital to each 
individual soul was the unity of the Church and 
hence how deeply each soul, even to the end of 
time, must be concerned in the preservation of this 
unity. For I saw it consisted, not merely in an 
absence of outward commotion in a quiet state 
of things, 011 the principle of " agreeing to differ ; " 
but that it consisted in being of "one heart and 
one mind," not merely in speaking the same things, 
but in being perfectly joined together in the same 
judgment, thus constituting a fellowship, called by 
the Church "the Communion of Saints." Now to 
insure this, I perceived that it was all made to 
spring from one fountain head CHRIST JESUS. 
But this, being invisible, was not enough for a vis 
ible Church. Hence, after Christ s ascension, the 
continuance of a visible centre of unity, not only 
seemed necessary to bind us to " the one Lord, one 
Faith, one baptism," but also actually appeared, as 


1 found, by the institution of Christ and testimony 
of His Church, in the person first, and then the 
See of St. Peter. 1st. He was identified with The 
One Lord. " We learn," says St. Leo, " through 
the very mysteries of the names given him, how he 
was associated with Christ." 

"The blessed Peter ceases not to preside over 
his own See, and he enjoys a never-ceasing fellow 
ship with the everlasting priest (Christ)." 

"He," says St. Augustine, "who would have 
part with Christ, must be in communion with Pe 
ter." (Communicet Petro qui vult par tern habere 
cum Christo.) Tom. vi.p. 546, Card. Mains. Ed. 
These are the last words of the sermon, according 
to the Vatican Manuscript. , 

Hence St. Cyprian, as we have seen, says, that 
the first reason why our Lord built the Church on 
Peter, was to show whence He had " appointed 
unity to spring." Or, as he says again, " For an 
original and principle of unity, "f Or, as St. Op- 
tatus says a little after, " It is well known that St. 
Peter established the chair at Rome, and the chair 
is one, that so all might preserve unity by union 
with it, that whosoever should establish another 
should be considered a schismatic and a transgress 
or." J If St. Peter, therefore, be so identified 

* Reference already given. 

| " Una ecclesia a Christo Domino super Petrum origine unitatis et ratione 

J Igitur negare non potes, scire te in urbe Roma Petro primo cathedram 
Episcopalam esse collatam in quasederit omnium apustolorum cap ut Pctnis, 
unde et Cephas appellatus eat; in qua una cathedra unitas ab omnibus ser 


with the presence of our Lord on earth as to be the 
spring or necessary centre of our union with Him, 
in the time of St. Cyprian and St. Optatus, upon 
what ground, I asked myself, can we safely sup 
pose that he will not continue to be this spring or 
centre to "the consummation of the world ? " 2. 
Again, St. Peter I found identified with " the one 
Faith" So that all who would have evidence of 
holding that " one Faith/ must be in communion 
with him. "Hence/ declares the Council of 
Chalcedon, " he (St. Peter) is the BASIS of the Or 
thodox Faith." And Tertullian: "The chief au 
thority as regards the feeding of the flock was de 
livered to Peter." And St. Cyprian: "To him 
(Peter) He (Christ) assigns His sheep to be fed" 
And St. Epiphanius : " He (Peter) was aided by 
the Father, so as to be the foundation of the secu 
rity of the Faith* To him was intrusted the 

flock" " For in every way/ continues he, " was 
the Faith confirmed in him who received the keys 
of heaven." And again : " He became unto us 
truly a firm rock, upon which is based the Faith 
of the Lord." And St. Ambrose : " He (Peter) 
was chosen as tf/zeTastor of the Lord s flock. For 
to him He said, When thou art converted, con 
firm thy brethren. And again : " Peter was, by 
the judgment of the Lord Himself, chosen to feed 

varetur ; nee ceteri apostoli singulas sibi quisque defenderent ; et jam schis- 
maticus et peccator esset, qui contra singularem cathedram alteram colloca- 
ret. De Schism. Donat. 1. ii. n. 2. 

* O Si -rrapa rdv Trarpos ttyeXeiro, rriv dvipaXciav rfjs Tiore 
T. ii. in auct. n. 9. 


the flock, who merited to hear a third time, Feed 
my lambs, feed my lambs, feed my sheep. : And 
St. Chrysostom : " Peter, the mouth of the disci 
ples, the pillar of the Church, the buttress of the 
Faith." T. iii. Horn, de Dec. Mill Talent, n. 3. 
I was not surprised, therefore, to hear St. Irreneus 
declare : " To this Church (the Roman) on account 
of a more powerful principality (or spiritual juris 
diction), it is necessary that every Church, that is, 
those who are, on every side, faithful, resort, (be 
cause) in that Church has been preserved 

that tradition which is from the Apostles."* Not 
surprised to hear St. Cyprian exclaim, after he had 
declared, that our Lord, "in. order to manifest 
unity, has by His own authority so placed the ori 
gin of that same unity, as that it begins from ONE 
(St. Peter)." "He who holds not this unity of 
the Church, does he think that he holds the Faith ? 
He who strives against, and resists the Church, he 
w r ho abandons the chair of St. Peter, upon whom 
the Church was founded, does he feel confident 
that he is in the Church ? " De Unitate. Bened. 

Thus it appeared to me that the Fathers regarded 
the transmission of the authority of the See of St. 
Peter as identical with the preservation of the true 
Faith. So that, to ascertain who is in possession 

* Ad hanc enim ecclesiam propter potentiorcm principalitatem necesse est 
omnem convcnire ecclesiam, hoc est, eos qui s-.nit untlique fideles, in qua 
semper ab his, qui stint undique, conservata est qua; est ab apostolis traditio. 
-AtLv. Ilarcs. 1. iii., c. 3. n. 2. 



of that Faith, it was only needful to inquire who 
is in fellowship with the Apostolic See. 

As a new testimony to this view, I here give a 
passage from St. Augustine, found in Sermon cxx. 
c. 13, published for the first time by Cardinal 
Maius, in 1852: "Do not suppose that you hold 
to the true Catholic Faith, unless you hold that 
Faith which is preserved at Rome." Non crederis 
veram fidem tenere Catholics, qui fidem non doces 
esse Servandam Romanam. 

In this striking testimony of the great Augustine 
as to the necessity of adhering to the Faith of 
Rome, in order to be distinguished from heretics 
and schismatics, he has only handed down the 
mark of a Catholic, given by his spiritual father, 
St. Ambrose, who, lib. i. 47, speaking of the true 
test of the orthodoxy of a person, inquires, 
" "whether it is not he who is in communion with 
the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Church of 
Rome" Utrumnam cum Episcopis Catholicis, hoc 
est, eum Romana ecclesia convcmret." See Card. 
Mains. Note to the above citation from St. Au 

Again, 3. St. Peter I found identified with 
"the one baptism," or with the forgiveness of sins 
in the Church in whatever Sacrament. Thus in 
Tertullian, " Thinkest thou heaven is still closed ? 
Remember the Lord left here the keys thereof to 
Peter, and through him to the Church."* Thus 

* Memento claves ejsis hie Dominum Petro,et per eum, ecclesia; reliquisse. 
Scorpiocc, n. x. It was manifest to my mind that both this Father and the 


in St. Cyprian : " Whither shall he come that 
thirsteth ? To heretics ? or to the Church ? which 
is one, and was by the voice of the Lord founded 
on one, who also received the keys thereof. She 
it is that alone holds and possesses the whole power 
of her Spouse and Lord." Ep. Ixiii. ad Jubaian. 
..." There is one baptism, and one Holy Ghost, 
and one Church, founded by Christ our Lord upon 
Peter, for an original and principle of unity." Ep. 
Ixx. ad Januar. ..." First, to Peter the Lord gave 
this power, that that should be loosed in heaven 
which he should have loosed on earth." Ep. Ixxiii. 
ad Jub. Thus in Firmilian : " But how great his 
error, how exceeding his blindness, who says re 
mission of sins can be given in. the synagogues of 
heretics, not abiding on the foundation of the one 
Church which was once established by Christ on a 
rock, may hence be understood, that to Peter 
alone Christ said, f Whatsoever thou shalt bind on 
earth shall be bound in heaven ; whatsoever thou 
shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 
Inter Ep. S. Cyp. Ep. Ixxv. Thus, too, in St. 
Hilary, speaking of St. Peter : ft A blessed keeper 
of the gate of heaven, to whose disposal are deliv 
ered the keys of the entrance into eternity ; whose 
judgment on earth is an authority prejudged in 
heaven, so that the things that are either loosed or 
Dound on earth, acquire in heaven too a like state 

Fathers generally, held, that from St. Peter, as the visible fountain, the power 
of" binding and loosing" was dispensed to one other disciple, and is now to 
all the Priesthood in communion with him. 


of settlement ! " * Tims, in St Ephroem : " We 
hail thee, Peter, the tongue of the Apostles, the 
voice of the heralds, the eye of the Apostles, the 
keeper of heaven, the first born of those ivho bear 
the keys" T. iii. Gr. in SS. Apost. Thus find 
ing St. Peter the visible source of those gifts in 
the Church which are necessary to all men to the 
end of the world, necessary to make them par 
takers in " the communion of Saints," I could not 
doubt the indispensable importance to myself and 
to all Christians, of union with the Holy See ! 

2. But I discovered further, that the fact of the 
transmission of the power of that See from St. 
Peter to his successors is insisted on by the early 
Fathers. Though convinced of its necessary per 
petuity from its very character and declared pur 
pose, I found my convictions strengthened by the 
value put upon it by the primitive Church. 

After having asserted the necessity in his day of 
all churches being in communion with the Church 
of Home, and having traced the Roman succession 
of bishops, St. Irenceus declares : " By this order 
and by this succession, both that tradition which is 
in the Church from the Apostles, and the preach 
ing of the truth, have come, doivn to us" 

But as I was thus pursuing my search into the 
testimony of the Fathers, a book was put into my 
hand, entitled Theophilus Amcricanus , which I 

* O beatus cceli janitor cnjns, arbitvio drives rnterni aditus traduntur, r-ijus 
terrestve jiidiciuiu pntvjudicata anctoritas sit in cculo ; ut qua? in terris aut 
ligata sint aut soluta, statute ejusdem conditionem obtineaut et in ccelo. 
Coin, in St. Matt. c. xvi. n. 7. 


found to be a republication by an able American 
Jurist of a work entitled Theophilus Anglicanus, by 
MINSTER, &c., designed for the Instruction of 
tlie Young Student concerning the Church." I at 
once turned to the chapter " The Bishop of Rome 
no Supremacy, spiritual or temporal, in the 
Realms," and I was not a little surprised to read 
on page 295 the following statement : " And to de 
scend to St. Peter s successors, it is certain also that 
St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Jcnew no-thing of 
such supremacy in Pope Aiiicetas ; that Polycrates, 
Bishop of Ephesus, and the Synod of Asiatic bish 
ops, and St. Irenseus, Bishop of Lyons, and the 
Council assembled in that city, knew nothing of 
such supremacy in Pope Victor ; that St. Cyprian, 
Bishop of Carthage, and the African Bishops, knew 
nothing of it in -Pope Stephanus ; that St. Augus 
tine and the bishops of Africa knew nothing of it 
in Popes Zosimus and Boniface ; and that the 


YEARS, were so far from knowing any thing of such 
supremacy as residing in themselves or in any one 
else, that Pope Gregory the First denounced the 
title universal Bishop as arrogant, wicked, schis- 
matical, blasphemous, and anti-Christian." I say 
I was not a little surprised at this statement, as my 
impressions, from a general view of the Fathers, 
were totally different. Still the source, both in 
England and America, from which the statement 
proceeded, was too respectable not to claim my 


serious attention. Humbly, and with, prayerful 
desires to know the truth, I applied to it such at 
tention j I now submit the results to the candid 
judgment of my old friends, Before I proceed, 
however, I must say that I felt bound at the time 
to settle in my mind a distinction insisted on by 
the learned author, between Supremacy and Prima 
cy. And here the task was not difficult, inas 
much as it seemed to me to matter little by what 
name you characterize a power or dignity, which 
gives, by divine institution, to its possessor univer 
sal jurisdiction, as in the case of St. Peter and his 
successors, and makes individual submission to it 
necessary to the enjoyment of the blessings of 
Christ s kingdom. You may call that Apostle Pri 
mus inter pares, or Summits supra inferior cs, or any 
thing else, if you only make him what Christ made 
him and the Fathers ascribed to him, the founda 
tion of the Church, and the ever-living visible head 
to which all must be united, who would live unto 
Christ, and be found in Him when He comes to 
judge the world. 

And now for the statement of Dr. Wordsworth : 
What first struck me was the positiveness which 
characterized this statement, " It is certain," says 
he, and that, too, in regard to a negative thing 
" It is certain " that St. Polycarp and the others 
named " knew nothing" of the supremacy. Now, 
I had been led to suppose that, taking the small 
number of documents of that early age, Church 
historians did not regard the absence of proof in 


any particular case, on a particular point, as mak 
ing it " certain " that that point was not true, pro 
vided it had in its favor the general current of 
testimony ! Hence I could see no reason why, if the 
cases of St. Polycarp, Irenseus, and some others 
stood alone, there should be " uncertainty " in re 
gard to them. But when I found them linked with 
other cases, yea, the principle that seemed to govern 
them, prominent and uniform in its operation 
throughout the Catholic Church of that early time, I 
felt that there was a very high degree of probability, 
if not certainty, that Dr. Wordsworth is in error. 
1. The case of St. Polycarp and St. Irenaeus. 
And here, I hope, I may be allowed the remark, 
that the question with me was not, whether St. 
Polycarp, St. Irenseus, and the others believed in 
the infallibility, under all circumstances, of the 
Bishop of Rome, (for this I felt confident that no 
Catholic holds,) but it was whether they acknowl 
edged the supremacy of his jurisdiction ! * I 

* "Here let us observe," says Cardinal Wiseman, " what is meant by 
obeying whatever he (the Pope) shall teach or appoint. It is not to be under 
stood that we believe, by any means, that he has it in his power to create any 
new doctrine for the Church, or appoint any thing to be believed which was 
not believed before ; not even that, according to the universally received doc 
trine of the Church, he has the power of pronouncing infallibly upon what is 
believed in the Church; but simply that it is his duty, the moment an error 
arises, to investigate and examine what is the belief of the Church upon the 
point, to give an answer regarding it, and, according to the dogma of tlw 
Church, if the whole of the Church the bishops constituting it should 
accede to that decision, the decision is considered necessarily as the voice of 
the Church, and consequently the infallible teaching of God. But, as I ob- 
serv?d before, it can only be as to a matter, whether such doctrine hath always 
been taught, and whether it is actually taught through the universal Church, that 
this inquiry is directed ; the power is never exercised for the creation of a single 
new opinion, for imposing upon the faith of the Catholic one single new doctritta 


hardly need say that the question which disturbed 
the peace of the Church at the time was simply 
one of usage, which related to the time of keeping 
Easter. In regard to this question, Pope Anicetus 
had made some demands upon the Churches of the 
East, and enforced them by a threat of excommu 
nication, and also Pope Victor. Now, to me, it ap 
peared reasonable that if these Churches denied 
the jurisdiction of the See of Rome, that, instead of 
endeavors to change the judgment of that See, 
they would have questioned its authority to judge 
would have charged it with usurpation. When, 
therefore, I discovered that both St. Polycarp and 
St. Irenaeus repaired to the Eoman See * as to the 

which has not, till then, teen universally received." Wiseman s Lectures on Doc 
trines, Sfc., p. 168. 

In reference to the question of the source of infallibility in the Catholic 
Church, about which some difference of opinion, I believe, has existed, I found 
advantage was taken of it to meet the charge of disagreements among Protes 
tants, as if the character or effect of the differences was in each case alike ! 
Now the differences among Protestants pertain to the most vital articles of 
faith, and produce the most radical disagreements in religious practice ; while 
the differences among Catholics, particularly the one about the exact source 
of infallibility in the Church, are matters of mere opinion, which are looked 
upon as indifferent in their character, and as having no effect upon religious 
practice. For example, take the difference of opinion about the exact source 
of infallibility; and what evil proceeds from it? For what possible effect 
upon the doctrine of infallibility can be produced by a difference of opinion 
merely about its source ? Test it by an example. A law of the United States, 
to be binding, must proceed from the House of Representatives, the Senate 
and the President of the Union acting respectively in their proper capacity. 
Now there have been discussions among the people as to the real source of 
the law-making power, showing a difference of opinion. But did any one 
ever suppose that such difference took from the value of the law, either by 
obscuring its meaning or weakening its sanctions? It struck me, therefore, 
as wholly illogical to cite unimportant differences as an offset to the most 
vital ones ! 

* E uscbius, Id. E. V. C. xxiv. Also Ircnaus, t. i. In regard to the journey 
of St. Irenoms, see St. Jerome. 


rightful authority, and while they expostulated 
with the Pope, on the ground of expediency, they 
never so much as intimated a doubt of his jurisdic 
tion ; and when, further, I observed that the 
Churches who felt themselves aggrieved actually 
assembled in council at the bidding of the Pope, 
and that, in the case of Pope Victor, St. Irenaeus 
entreated him to withhold from the Churches the 
evil of excommunication, not on the ground that he 
had no right to proceed to this extremity . which 
in their exasperated state was the ground which 
would certainly have been urged, if tenable but 
simply on the ground of condescending charity. 
Seeing they persisted in their practice, not out of 
self-will, but of attachment to ancient usage,* I 
could not help the conviction, that instead of its 
being "certain" that they knew nothing of the 
supremacy of the See of Rome, they furnished the 
best circumstantial proof that they acknowledged 
it. When, in addition, I reflected upon the strong 
passage cited above, in which St. Irenaeus urges 
upon all Churches the necessity of resorting to 
Rome because of its superior jurisdiction, I felt 
how different are the facts of history from the 
assertions of prejudiced and self-confident minds! 
. But I was invited on to the case of St Cyprian. 
And here I felt myself at home. This Father had 
been my favorite study for years, and had already 

yt\ir)v /?urrop -npoffTjicdvTos wj A"? diroK6irrot #Aaj KK\r]aiaa8al 
eOovg KapdSotnv inimpovoas n Xsiaa Zrepa irafaivei. Euseb, H. B 



imparted to my mind new, and at the time dis 
quieting, ideas of the powers of the Holy See. 
And whoever will turn back and contemplate, in a 
spirit of candor, the passages cited in a former 
chapter, on this point, must, I have the presump 
tion to think, be convinced that these ideas were 
not altogether baseless. Still I was willing and 
anxious for the sake of truth to reconsider the tes 
timony of this Father. A particular instance had 
been adduced by Dr. Wordsworth ; and I was led 
to examine whether it could, by any possibility, be 
so tortured even as to bear witness against those 
prerogatives which certainly, on all other occasions, 
the saint had so boldly asserted. , But before pro 
ceeding, I felt bound to record my protest against 
the logic which would make a doubtful action in a 
man s life reverse the plain intention of all other 
actions of it ; while common sense all the while 
was requiring the application of the exactly oppo 
site rule. 

Dr. Wordsworth says St. Cyprian " knew noth 
ing of supremacy in Pope Stephanus." Let us 
see what in all honesty are the facts of the case. 
To arrive at these facts, I thought it right first to 
consider what he said in other cases. 

In a letter to Antonianus concerning Pope Corne 
lius, he employs at the beginning such language as 
this : " You wrote that I should transmit a copy of 
the same letter to our colleague Cornelius, that, 
having been relieved of anxiety, he might at length 
know that you communicate with him, that is, with 


the Catholic Church," * An expression which will 
be readily understood by those who have attended 
to the repeated declarations of this saint, making 
the chair of St. Peter not only the source of au 
thority in the Catholic Church, but also her repre 
sentative. For example, in his letter to Cornelius 
himself he says, "Peter, on whom the Church 
had been built by the Lord Himself, f one speaking 
for all, and replying with the voice of the Church, 
exclaims, < Lord, to whom shall we go ? " Again, 
in the same letter to Antonianus, he makes the 
following reference to Pope Fabian, the predeces 
sor of Cornelius. Speaking of the election of the 
latter to the See of Koine, he says it occurred 
" when the place of Fabian, that is, when the place 
of Peter, and the rank of the sacerdotal chair, 
was vacant." J And again, in his letter to Pope 
Cornelius, he says, "Moreover, after all this, a 
pseudo-bishop having been set up for themselves 
by heretics, they dare to sail and carry letters 
from schismatics and profane persons to the chair 
of Peter, and to the chief Church, where the unity 
of the Priesthood has begun." It seemed to me 
clear from these incidental (and on that account 
more forcible) allusions to the chair of St. Peter, 

* Ad Cornelium collegiam nostrum transmitterem ut deposita omni solici- 
tudine jam sciret te secum, hoc est, cum catholica ecclesia communicare. Ep. 
L. ii. p. 147. 

t Petrus super quern, &c. Ep. LV. as before cited. 

t Cum Fabiani locus, id est, cum locus Petri et gradus Cathedrae sacerdo- 
talis vacaret. Ep. LII. ad Antoni. p. 150. 

$ Ad Petri Cathedram, atque ad ecclesiam principalem,imde unitas sacer 
dotalis exorta est. Ep. LV. p. 182-3. 


as in Cyprian s day, holding a peculiar sacerdotal 
rank, and being the fountain of " the unity of the 
priesthood," that this sainted martyr regarded the 
Popes of Rome as having by divine right a certain 
jurisdiction over all other bishops, which all other 
bishops were bound to concede. But the case of 
Pope Stephen was urged by Dr. Wordsworth with 
a view manifestly to cast discredit upon St. Cyp 
rian s testimony in other cases, or in reference to 
the question generally. The case, as represented, 
was one of disagreement between this saint and 
that Pope on the subject of the baptism of here 
tics. That such disagreement existed between Pope 
Stephen and some of the African bishops I knew to 
be certain ; but how far St. Cyprian was involved 
in it I found to be exceedingly doubtful. The fol 
lowing is a description of it by St. Vincent Lirens, 
whose authority is unquestionable with the Church 
of England. He was speaking of the zeal of the 
Apostolic See in resisting novelties, and continues 
thus : " Not to be tedious, we shall select one in 
stance, and this especially from the Apostolic See, 
that all may see more clearly than in meridian 
light with what energy, with what zeal, with what 
perseverance the blessed successors (beata successio) 
of the holy Apostles have always defended the 
integrity of religion as it was originally delivered. 
Formerly, then, Agriphinus, bishop of Carthage, 
a man whose memory is venerable, was the first to 
maintain that baptism should be repeated, in op 
position to the divine canon, to the rule of the 


Universal Church, to the judgment of all his fellow- 
priests, to the custom and decrees of his predeces 
sors ; which presumption was the cause of much 
evil, that it not only gave all heretics a form of 
sacrilege, but even gave occasion of error to some 
Catholics. When, therefore, all cried out from all 
quarters against the novelty, and all priests in 
every place struggled against it, each according to 
his zeal, Pope Stephen, of blessed memory, who at 
that time was prelate of the Apostolic See, in con 
junction, indeed, with his colleagues, but yet more 
than his colleagues, resisted, thinking it fit, as 1 
suppose, that he should surpass all others in the 
devotedness of his faith as much as he excelled 
them by the authority of his station. Finally, in 
the epistle which was then sent to Africa, he de 
creed in these words : that NO INNOVATION SHOULD 


BE RETAINED. What power had the African Coun 
cil or decree ? NONE, through the mercy of God." 
Commonit. c. viii. 

In this account of the great Vincentius I ob 
served two things : 1, that he bears a noble testi 
mony to the superior i( authority " of the See of 
Rome ; and 2, says nothing of any collision of St. 
Cyprian with Pope Stephen. And probably for 
the reason which I found given in a letter by St. 
Augustine to him, " that there were not wanting 
persons who maintained that St. Cyprian did not 
yield to the opinion of Agrippiiius ; but that, to 
give it the sanction of his name, the letter and 


documents were composed under it by presump 
tuous and deceitful men." * Here I could not help 
contrasting the positiveiicss of Dr. Wordsworth 
with the doubtfulness of St. Augustine, and feeling 
some little wonder how the former, at this distant 
period, should be so much better informed on the 
point than the latter, who lived so near the time 
But St. Augustine continues, in reply to the Dona- 
tists : " Cyprian either did not think at all, as you 
represent, or he afterwards corrected his error by 
the rule of truth ; or he covered this blemish, as it 
were, of his own fair breast, with the abundance of 
charity, while he defended most eloquently the, 
unity of the Church, spread over the whole world, 
and held most steadfastly the bond of peace." f And 
referring to his martyrdom, St. Augustine remarks 
{( 1 think that the bishop Cyprian may, without any 
insult to himself, be compared with the Apostle 
Peter, as far as regards the crown of martyrdom 
But I ought rather to be afraid of being contume 
lious towards Peter. For who knows not that the 
primacy (princedom^) of the Apostlcship is to be 
preferred before any episcopate whatever ? But 
although the grace of the chairs is widely different, 
yet one is the glory of martyrs." J From this 1 

* " Quamquam non dcsiret qui hoc Cyprianum prorsus non sensisse con- 
tendant, sed sub ejns nomine a presumptoribus atque mendacibus firisse con- 
fectum." Ed. xciii. ad Vincent. Rog. S. 38, p. 240, Tom. ii. Ed. Ven. 

f Porro autem Cyprianus, aut non sensit oinnino quod eum senisse recita- 
tis ; aut hoc postea correxit in rogula veritatis, aut hunc quasi naeviim sui 
candidissimi pectoris cooperuit ubere caritatis dum unitatem ecclesiqs toto 
orbe crcscentis, et copiosissime defendit, et perseverantissiine tenuit vincu- 
lum pads. p. 247, ad Vinct. 

J Ciuia eniin neacit ilium apostolatus principqtum cuilibet episcopatui praa 


became convinced that, even if the disagreement 
between St. Cyprian and Pope Stephen were such 
as had been represented, it was either maintained 
on the part of that martyr in perfect consistency 
with his known reverence for the controlling au 
thority of the See of Rome, or was so repented of 
as that he died in communion with that See, as did 
also the other contending bishops of Africa, if we 
may trust St. Jerome. " St. Cyprian," says that 
father, " endeavored to shun pits that were bro 
ken, and not to drink of the waters of others ; and 
on that account, reprobating the baptism of heretics, 
forwarded the African Synod, on this subject, to 
Stephen, then bishop of the Roman city, the twenty- 
sixth from blessed Peter ; but this effort proved fruit 
less. Finally, those very bishops who with him 
had determined that the heretics should be rebap- 
tized, turning back to the ancient custom, issued a 
new decree." Dial. Contr. Lucif. 

In short, I discovered that in the whole of this con 
troversy, even admitting that all proceeded from 
the pen of St. Cyprian which is ascribed to it, 
nothing was said even by himself or associates 
which implied an assumption or overestimate of 
jurisdiction on the part of Pope Stephen, but only 
an indiscreet use of lawful prerogatives.* Instead 
of any resistance of the claim of jurisdiction made 
by the Roman See, I found every litigated question 

ferendum ? Sed et si distal cathedrarum gratia mia est truncn gloria marty- 
rum. T. ix. 1. ii. De Baptism, contra Donat. n. I. col. 182. Or, propter pri- 
matum quern in discipulis habuit. T. iv. Enar. in Ps. cviii. ru 1. 
* Ep. Finniliani inter Cyprian. Tom. iiL p. 265, Ed. Wircclmrg. 


referred to its judgment as by divine arrangement. 
St. Cyprian himself, in respect to Martianus, en 
treats this very Pope Stephen to interfere for the 
preservation of discipline : ( Let letters be addressed 
from THEE (but why from Stephen, the blamed 
Stephen, if his (Cyprian s) own authority was 
equal ?) be addressed from THEE to the province 
and the people of Aries, WHEREBY Martianus, BEING 
EXCOMMUNICATED,* another may be substituted in 
his room " a request which, in my view, implied 
some knowledge, on the part of St. Cyprian, of 
supremacy in Pope Stephen, as the act requested, 
to be lawful in the dioceses of other bishops, must 
have been an act of supremacy. 

Here the further case of St. Augustine was pre 
sented. ft He and the bishops of Africa knew 
nothing," says Dr. Wordsworth, " of supremacy 
in Popes Zosimus and Boniface." 

It must be admitted, I thought, that this asser 
tion falls to the ground, if it should appear that St. 
Augustine, in his writings, maintains, generally, a 
supremacy of jurisdiction in the See of St. Peter. 
I turned to these writings : I read the following : 

" In the Catholic Church the succession of 

priests from the very chair of St. Peter, to whom 
the Lord, after His resurrection, committed his 
sheep to be fed, down even to the present bishop, 
keeps me." T. iii. Contr. Ep. Fund. Manich. Col. 
269. Again : " That city (Carthage) had a bishop 

* Qiiihus litteris absterrito Martiano, alias in locum cjus substitutur. Ept 
Ixvii. p. 249, Ed. Ven. 


of no slight authority, who was able not to heed 
the multitude of enemies conspiring against him, 
when he saw himself united by letters of com 
munion both with the Roman Church, in which 
the primacy of the Apostolic chair has always been 
in force,* and with other lands." T. ii. Ep. xliii. 
Gloria et aliis Dvnat. n. 7, Col 136. I recalled, 
too, his strong words in respect to St. Cyprian : 
<( Who knows not that the princedom of the Apos- 
tleship (at Rome) is to be preferred before any epis 
copate whatsoever." Besides, he seemed to me to 
recognize in one of the Popes (Zosimus) alluded to 
something more than ordinary authority. " Where 
as," he writes, " Pelagius and Coelestius, the authors 
of this heresy, were, by the vigilance of the coun 
cils of bishops in aid of the Savior, who protects 
His own Church, also by two venerable prelates of 
the Apostolic See, Pope Innocent and Pope Zosi 
mus, condemned, &c," T. ii. Ep. CXC. But 
why single out the popes of Rome in this case of 
discipline, if they had no more jurisdiction than 
other bishops ? To me, therefore, it became quite 
manifest that St. Augustine did recognize in the 
Roman See a preeminent right of jurisdiction ? 

And now I was brought to that most extraordi 
nary assertion of Dr. Wordsworth, that the Popes 
themselves for six hundred years recognized in 
themselves no such right. I say extraordinary ; 
as a few hours search enabled me to verify the fol- 

* Romance ecclesicc, in qua semper apostolkce cathedra viguit principatus. 


lowing passage, which, to my mind, presented an 
almost continuous series of the most irresistible tes 
timony to the contrary: 1. I began with Pope 
Julius, who lived early in the fourth century. He 
wrote on the subject of the Arian disturbances at 
Alexandria, and expostulated thus : " Why were 
we not written to concerning the Church, especially 
of Alexandria ? Or are you ignorant that this hath 
been the custom, first to write to us, and thus what 
is just be decreed from this place 1 * If, therefore, 
any such suspicion fell upon your bishop there, it 
was befitting to write to this Church. . .Bear with 
me cheerfully, I beseech you, for what I write is 
for the common weal. For what we have received 
from the blessed Apostle Peter, the same do I make 
known to you. . ." Ep. ad Eusebian, n. 21. The 
true force of the above passage appeared in the 
fact that this Pope had summoned these Arians to 
Eome for trial. "It behooved you, beloved, to 
come hither, and not to refuse,f in order that this 
business may be terminated. Ib. n. 6. They 
give their pleas for not appearing before him, ur 
ging want of sufficient notice, (n. 6,) the state of 
affairs in the East (n. 7) ; and lastly, that the let 
ter of citation was addressed only to Eusebius and 
his associates (n. 8) ; but, however vain may have 
been their pleas for not coming to Kome, they 
never questioned the authority that summoned 

{ H dyvours on TOVTO 60$ fiv irp6repov ypafavOai fiftiv, Kat ovrn^ I vOc? 

TO. SiKaia. 
t UEI dnavrriaai, 


them; while Athanasius actually obeyed and re 
mained in the holy city for years. Here I asked 
myself, Did Pope Julius know nothing in himself 
of supreme jurisdiction ? 

. I turned to POPE DAMASTJS, who, writing to 
the East at the time of the Council of Arimiiium, 
says, " No advantage could arise from the number 
of those who assembled at Ariminum, seeing that 
it is certain that neither the Roman bishop, whose 
opinion ought to have been sought for before all 
others* nor Vincentius," &c. Again, to the same 
Churches : " Most honored children, in that your 
friendliness bestows on an apostolic chair the rev 
erence due, you confer the greatest honor on your 
selves. For although, especially in this holy 
Church, wherein the holy Apostle, sitting, taught 
in what way it beseems us to manage the helm 
which has been put into our hands, yet do we 
confess ourselves unequal to the dignity; but, 
therefore, do we strive in every way, if it may be, 
that we may be able to attain unto the glory of that 
blessedness. Know, therefore, that long since we 
deposed (or cut off) the profane Timotheus. . .with 
his impious doctrine." f Here, too, I asked my 
self, Did Pope Damasus really know nothing of 
supremacy in himself? 

3. I turned next to the epistles of POPE ANAS- 

* Cujus ante omnes fuit expetenda sententia. Ep. i., Synd. OricntaWms. 
Galland. J. vi. p. 321. 

f On the above epistle Theodoret remarks, " When the entirely praisewor 
thy Damasus learned that this heresy had sprung up, he deposed and excom 
municated, not only Apollinarius, but also Timotheus, his disciple 


TAsrcrs I., and read as follows. Speaking of some 
imputed neglect, lie says, " Far be this from the 
Catholic discipline of the Roman Church As 
suredly care shall not be wanted on my part to 
guard the faith of the Gospel in my people ; and 
to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the members 
of my body, throughout the divers regions of the 
earth, (Partesque corporis mei per spatia diversa 
terrarum,) to prevent any beginning of a profane 
interpretation from creeping in, which may have 
for its object to confound devout minds by spread 
ing its darkness." Here, too, I put it to my con 
science, Did Pope Anastasius know nothing of 
supremacy in himself? 

4. I proceeded to POPE SIRICIUS, and found the 
following among other testimonies : " Taking into 
account my office, it is not for me to choose on 
whom it is incumbent that there be a zeal for the 
Christian religion greater than that of all other 
persons, to dissemble, and remain silent. I bear 
the burdens of all who are heavily laden. Yea, 
rather in me that burden is borne by the blessed 
Apostle Peter, who, we trust, in all things protects 
and has regard to us who are the heirs of his gov 
ernment." * Again : " Let it suffice that faults have 
hitherto been committed in this matter ; and now 
let the above-named rule be observed by all priests 
who do not wish to be rent from that solid apostolic 

* Haec portat in nobis beatus apostolus Petrus, qui nos in omnibus, ut con- 
fidimus, administrations sure protegit et tuetur ha;redes. Ep. i. ad Himer 
Tairac. Ep. n. 1, p. 533. Gal land. T. vii. 


rock upon which CHRIST constructed THE UNIVER 
SAL CHURCH."* Here, too, I asked myself, Did 
POPE SIRICIUS really know nothing of supremacy 
in himself? 

5. Satisfied with the manifest claim of this POPE, 
I next opened the epistles of Pope Innocent L, and 
read, " Let us, therefore, begin with the help of 
the holy Apostle Peter, through whom both the 
Apostleship and the Episcopate took their rise in 
CiiRiST.f These, then, are the things which it 
behooves every Catholic bishop, having before his 
eyes the judgment of God, henceforward to observe 

that if any causes or contentions arise the 

dispute be settled, agreeably to the Synod of Nicsea, 
by an assembly of the same province, and that it be 
not lawful for any one [not to the prejudice, how 
ever, of the Roman Church, to which, in all causes, 
reverence ought to be preserved +] to leave the 
priests, who, by the will of God, govern the Church 
of God, and to have recourse to other provinces. 
But if greater causes be brought forward, let them, 
after the judgment of the bishop, be referred to the 
Apostolic See, as the Synod resolved and blessed 
custom requires."" Ep. ii. Galland. t. viii. Again ; 
After having caused your letter to be read several 

* Omnes teneant sacerdotes, qui nolunt ah apostolicte Petras, super quam 
Christus universalem construxit ecclesiam, solidate, divelli. Ib. n. 3, p. 534. 

t Perquem et Apostolatus et Episcopatus in Christus coepit exordium. 

J The words in brackets are not found in some of the ancient manuscripts, 
but are preserved in the best editions. 

Ad sedem Apostolicam, sicut synodus (see Ep. Synod. Concil. Sardic. ad 
Julium.) statiut, et beata consuetude exigit, post judicium Episcopate referan 



times to me, I noticed that a kind of injury was 
done to the Apostolic See, as unto the head of the 
churches [quasi ad caput ecclesiarium] that state 
ment was sent, the sentence of that See being still 
treated as doubtful. The renewed questioning 
contained in your report compels me, therefore, to 
repeat in plainer terms the subject," &c. Ep. 
xvii. n. 1. Again : " Keeping to the precedents of 
ancient tradition. . .you have. . .established the firm 
ness of your religion, no less now by consulting me 
than when you formerly passed your sentence ; ap 
proving, as you have done, of a reference to our 
judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic 
See, knowing that all of us who have been placed 
in this position desire to follow that Apostle from 
whom the Episcopate itself and the whole authority 
of this title has been derived. "With him for our 
model, we know both how to condemn what is evil 
and approve what is commendable." Ep. clxxxi. 
ad Council. Carthag. Ed. Bened. S. Aug. t. ii. 

Again : " Carefully, therefore, and as was befit 
ting, do you consult what is the secret wish of this 
Apostolic dignity * (a dignity, I repeat, upon 
which falls, besides those things that are without, 
the solicitude or care of all the churches^) as to what 
opinion is to be held in matters of such moment ; 
having herein followed the pattern of the ancient 
rule, which you, equally with myself, know has 
always been observed by the whole world.-f Yea, 
why have you confirmed this by your* own act, but 

* Congrue Apostolici consulitis honoris arcana. 

f (Juaia toco semper ab orbs niecuui uosiis t-sse servatam. 


that you know that, throughout all provinces, 
Answers to questions always emanate from the 
Apostolic spring, especially as often as questions of 
faith are agitated 1 I am of opinion that all our 
brethren and fellow-bishops ought not to refer but 
to Peter, that is, to the author of their name and 
honor, even as your friendliness has now referred 
(to know) what may be the common weal of all the 
Church throughout the whole world* Where 
fore we do, by the authority of the Apostolic power, 
[ Apostolic! vigoris auctoritate,] declare Pelagiusand 
Ccelestius. . .deprived of the communion of the 
Church." Galland. Ep. xx. ad cone. Meliv. n. 1, 
, 6, p. 60&.f Once more : " We cannot wonder 
that your friendliness follows the institutes of those 
who have gone before you, and refers unto us, as 
unto the head and chief of the Episcopate, [ad nos 
quasi ad caput atque adapicem episcopatus referre,] 
whatsoever can cause doubt ; that, by consulting 
the Apostolic See, to wit, it may, even on doubtful 
matters, decide on something that is certain and 
ought to be done." Galland. t. viii. Ep. xxxvii. 
Felici, n. 1 . J Here, indeed, I asked myself, 

* Quod per omnes provincias de Apostolica fonte pctentibus responsa sem- 
>er emanent. Prcesertim quoties fidei ratio ventilatur, arbitror omnes fratres 
8t coepiscopos nostros nonnisi ad Petrum, id est, sui nominis et honoris auc- 
orern referre debere, velut nunc retulit vestra dilectio, quod per totuiu mun- 
lum possit ecclesiis omnibus in commune prodesse. 

f Observe the well-known words of St. Augustine on the above decree : 
" Duo concilia missa sunt ad sedem Apostolicam inde etiam rescripta vene- 
nint. Causa finita est; utinam aliquando finiatur error." Serm. cxxxi. 

J The Council of Carthage, represented as assisting the Popes, here makes 
application to Rome as follows: "We have considered that what hus been 
done by us was to be made known to your holy charity, that to the decrees 
made by our lowliness there might also be added the authority of the Apostolic 
Sec;, (etiam Apcstolicse &edis adhibiatur auctoritas.") Galland. t. viii. ep. xxvi. 


Did Pope Innocent I. know nothing of supremacy 
in himself? 

6. I next considered the epistles of Popes Zosi- 
mus and Boniface in the time of Augustine. 

1. The Epistles of Pope Zosimus, the successor 
of St. Innocent, 417. " Although/ says he, " the 
tradition of the Fathers has assigned so great an 
authority to the Apostolic See that no one should 
dare dispute about a judgment given ly it, and 
that See, by regulations and canons, has kept to 
this ; and the discipline of the Church, in the laws 
which it yet follows, still pays to the name of Peter, 
from whom that See descends, the reverence due ; 
for canonical antiquity, by universal consent, willed 
that so great a power should belong to that Apos 
tle, a power also derived from the actual promise 
of Christ our God, that it should be his to loose 
what was bound and to bind what was loosed ; an 
equal state of power being bestowed on those who, 
by his will, should be found worthy to inherit his 
See. For he has both charge of all the churches, 
and especially of this wherein he sat ; nor does he 
allow any storm to shake one particle of the privi 
lege, or any part of the sentence, of that See, to 

which he has given his name as a foundation 

which no one can rashly attack but at MA own 
peril. Seeing, then, that Peter is the head of so 
great authority, and that he has confirmed the sub 
sequent decrees of the Fathers, that by all laws, 
human and divine, the Roman. Church is strength 
ened, and you are not ignorant, dearest brethren, 


that we rule over his place, and are in possession 
of the authority of his name. . . .nevertheless, al 
though so great be our authority that none may 
refute our sentence, yet we have done nothing 
which we have not of our own will made known 
by letter to you, conceding this to the brother 
hood." Ep. xiv., p. 18, 19, t. ix., Galland. 2. 
Next the Epistles of St. Boniface, the successor of 
St. Zosimus, 418. Writing to a bishop of the East, 
he says, On you, dearest brother, devolves the 
entire care of those Churches, which you will rec 
ognize as having been, by us, intrusted to you as 
the vicegerent of the Apostolic See."* Ep. V. 
Rufo. Ep. Thessal 

Again : The institution of the universal Church 
took its beginning from the honor bestowed upon 
the blessed Peter, in whom its government and 
headship reside. f For from him, as its source, did 
ecclesiastical discipline flow over all the Churches, 
when the culture of religion began to make prog 
ress. The precepts of the Synod of Nicasa bear 
no other testimony ; insomuch that that Synod did 
not attempt to make any regulations in his regard, 
as it saw nothing could be conferred that was supe 
rior to his own dignity ; it knew, in fine, that 
every thing had been bestowed on him by the word 
of the Lord. It is, therefore, certain that this 

* Qiias tibi vice sedis apostolicte a nobis crcditas recognosces. 

f Instittitio universalis ecclesire de beati Petri honore sumpsit principiiim,m 
ffao regimen ejus et suinina consistit. " A sentence," says Mr. Watenvorth, 
obviously capable of various rendering. " 



Church, is to the Churches spread over the whole 
world as the head is to its own members ; from 
which Church whoso has cut himself off becomes 
an alien from the Christian religion, whereas he 
has begun to be not in the same bonds of fellow 

Passing by many striking testimonies, I pro 
ceeded to Pope Leo, 440, who says, " The blessed 
Peter ceases not to preside over his own See, and 
he enjoys a never-ceasing fellowship with the ever 
lasting priest Christ. For that solidity which 
Peter himself also made, a rock received from 
the rock Christ, has passed onwards to his heirs 
also."f T. i. Serm. V. in Natel Ord. c. iv. 
Again : " Whereas our case is extended through 
out all the Churches this being required of us 
by the LORD, who committed the primacy of the 
Apostolic dignity to the most blessed Apostle Peter 
in reward of his faith, establishing the universal 

Church on the solidity of him, the foundation 

Wherefore, following the example of those whose 
memory is venerable unto us, we have committed 
to one brother, a fellow-bishop, Anastasius, to act 
in our stead (at Thessalonica). We have enjoined 
him to be watchful. . . .To whom, that your friendli 
ness, in all things pertaining to ecclesiastical disci- 

* Cum videret, nihil supra merituni suum certum posse conferri, omnia de- 
nique huic novcrat Domini sermone concessa. Hanc ergo ecclesiis toto orbe 
diffusis velut caput suorum certum est esse membrorurn, aqua se quisquis ab- 
ecidit, fit Christians religionis extorris, cum in eadem non coeperit esse corn- 

f Soliditas enim ilia, quam de Petrae Christo etiam ipse Petra factus accepit 
IQ sues quoque se transiudit hx redes. 


pline, be obedient, we admonish you." Addressed 
to the Metropolitans throughout Iliricum. Ep. V. 

r 9 ^ 
L. 6, o. 

From St. Leo I proceeded to Pope Gelasius, 
492. The following is from an encyclical letter to 
the bishops of Syria, never before cited : " Come, 
you, most honorable, to that which you yourselves 
proclaim the holy chair (See), run to the immovable 
rock of Peter, number yourselves with the Apos 
tolic choir,, make sure the crown of your victory." 
Tom. II. p. 655, Ed. Card. Mains. Again: 
" "With what reason and what consistency can other 
sees be defended, if the ancient and long-existing 
reverence be not paid to the See of the most blessed 
Peter, the first See, by which the dignity of all 
priests has always been strengthened and con- 
firmed,f and to which, by the invincible and special 
judgment of the three hundred and eighteen 
Fathers, the highest honor was adjudged, as being 
men who bore in mind the Lord s sentence, Thou 
art Peter ; and upon this rock I will build my 
Church. And again to the same Peter, ( Lo, I 
have prayed for THEE, that THY faith FAIL NOT. 
And that sentence, If thou lovest me, feed my 
sheep. "Wherefore, then, is the Lord s discourse 
so frequently directed to Peter ? Was it that the 
rest of the holy and blessed Apostles were not 

* Venite et vos, O honorandissimi, ad earn quam vos ipsi sanctam pradicas- 
tis Cathedram : accurrite ad immoliilem Petri petrain ; connumcrate vos choro 
Apostolico; confirmate victoria) vestra coronas. 

f Si prima> Petri sedi antiqua et vetusta reverentia non defertur, per 
quam omnium saccrclotum dignitas semper est roborata atque firmata. 


clothed with like virtue ? Who dare assert this ? 
No ; but that, by a head being constituted, the oc 
casion of schism might be removed ; and that the 
compact bond of the body of Christ, thus uniformly 
tending, by the fellowship of a most glorious love, 
to one head, might be shown to be one, and that 
there might be ONE CHURCH faithfully believed in.* 

For which cause I have said our Fathers, 

the merits of whose virtues raised them to the con 
fessor s most glorious palm and to tha martyr s 
resplendent crown, these men, filled with love 
for Christ, referred to that See wherein Peter, the 
prince of the Apostles, the (thence) derived origin 
of their priesthood, seeking thence the weightiest 
Duttresses to give firmness to their solid structures ; f 
that by this spectacle it may be manifest to all 
men that the Church of Christ is truly one through 
out and indivisible, a Church which, knit together 
by the bond of concord and the marvellous Woof 
of charity, might be seen to be the one coat of 
Christ, seamless throughout. There were assuredly 
twelve Apostles, endowed with equal merits and 
equal dignity ; and whereas all shone equally with 
spiritual light, yet was it Christ s will that one 
among them should be the ruler ; and him, by an 
admirable dispensation, did he guide to Rome 

* Et una monstraretur compago corporis Christ!, quae ad unum caput glo- 
riosissima dilectionis societate concurreret j et una esset ecclesia cui fidcliter 

t Ad illam sedem qnam prineeps Apostolorum Petrus; sui sacerdotii stimpta 
principia repleti Christ! charitate mittebant, SUE inde soliditatis gravissima 
firmitatis roboraincnta poscentes. 


and there he shone conspicuous for power .of doc 
trine ; also, made glorious by the shedding of his 
blood, does he repose in a place of everlasting rest, 
granting to the see, which he himself blessed, that 
it be, according to the Lord s promise, never over 
come by the gates of hell, and that it be the safest 
harbor for the tempest-tossed. In that harbor who 
soever shall have reposed shall enjoy a blessed and 
eternal place of safety.* Whereas, he that shall 
have despised it, it is for him to see to it what 
kind of excuses he will plead at the day of judg 
ment." T. X. Galland. p. 672. See also next 
letter, Id. p. 679. Again : " The holy Koman 
Catholic and Apostolic Church has been raised 
above the other Churches, not by any synodal 
decrees, but from the evangelical voice of our Lord 
and Savior has it obtained the primacy, the saying, 
Thou art Peter ; and upon this rock I will build 
my Church. " Decret. Concl. Rom. Sub. Gel. 
Col 1261, Labb. In ibid. Col 1275. Pope Ge- 
lasius is called by the second Council of Home, 
"The Vicar of Christ." 

Here I am forced to forbear. The records to 
the same point are abundant down to the period of 
Gregory the Great. But my time and space are 
limited and enough, it seemed to me, was con 
tained in what I have already submitted to make it 
certain that the bishops of Home, as occupiers of 

* Prastans sedi quam ipse benedixit, ut aportis infer! nunquam pro Domini 
promissione vincatur omniumque sit fluctuantium tutissimus portus. In quo 
qui requievcrit, beata et eterria statione gaudebit. 


the See of St. Peter, supposed themselves possessed 
of a supremacy of jurisdiction, and that their claim 
was never disputed in the early Church ; and that 
Pope Gregory I. is not an exception. He may have 
used strong words in reference to the attempt at 
Constantinople to interfere with the prerogatives of 
the Apostolic See ; but the following was conclu 
sive in my mind that he held to these prerogatives. 
ff The care," says he in his expostulation with the 
Patriarch John, who had used the title " universal 
bishop," " the care of the whole Church was 
committed to Peter, and yet he is not called the 
universal Apostle." Ep. IV. 0. And further 
in respect to Constantinople : " Who doubts it is 
subject to the Apostolic See ? " And again : 
" When bishops commit a fault, I know not what 
bishop is not subject to it " the See of Eome. 
And finally, in his instructions to St. Augustine : 
" WE give you no jurisdiction over the Bishops of 

Gaul But we commit to your care all the 

bishops of Britain, that the ignorant among them 
may be instructed, the weak strengthened, and the 
perverse corrected by your authority." * 

* His. Bede, 1. i., c. 27, Resp. 9, Spelm. Concil. p. 98. 




NEAR the conclusion of the last chapter was a 
citation from Pope Boniface I., in the following 
words : " It is, therefore, certain, that this church " 
(meaning the Roman) " is, to the churches spread 
over the whole world, as the head is to its own 
members ; from which Church whoso has cut him 
self off becomes an alien from the Christian Re- 

In making an application of these words, which 
had seemed to me to be in keeping with holy 
Scripture as understood by the Fathers of the 
Church generally, I asked myself how they com 
ported with the tone of sentiment and action in the 
early Anglican branch ? whether there was any 
thing to justify the assertion of Mr. Blackstone 
(Comm. b. 4, c. 8), that " the ancient British 
Church, by whomsoever planted, was a stranger 
to the Bishop of Rome and his pretended au 
thority 1 " 

Before the middle of the first century, it ap 
peared that the Romans had acquired, by force of 
arms, considerable territory in Britain. From the 
usual policy of the early Christians, and from the 
fact that the faith of the Christians at Rome was 
so soon " spoken of throughout the whole world," 


(Horn. i. 8,) we might, I thought, reasonably sup 
pose the cross to have entered that country through 
the breach made by the sword. Be this as it may, 
I found that a king of England, if we may trust 
the venerable Bede, by the Latin name of Lucius , 
became, about the year 167, a convert to Christi 
anity, and was admitted into the Church by appli 
cation to the See of Rome. The words of Bede 
are : " In the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 
167, Lucius, the King of Britain, sending letters 
to Eleutherius, who had been Bishop of Rome for 
fifteen years with very great credit, humbly peti 
tioned and obtained the request to be made a 
Christian."* Epit. V. Bede. Hence it seemed 
to me certain that the Bishop of Rome, in 167, was 
known in Britain, and his authority recognized. 

The next evidence which I discovered of inter 
course between England and Rome was in the his 
tory of the Council of Aries. " On the first day 
of August, A. D. 314," says Fleury, "thirty-three 
bishops assembled at Aries, in Gaul, for the pur 
pose of condemning the Donatist schism. Great 
Britain was represented by the bishops of York 
and London, (he should have added Lincoln.) f 
Pope Sylvester sent two legates, priests, and two 

After condemning the Donatists, &c., they sent 

* Anno ab incarnatione Domini 167 Eleutherius Roniae pnesul factus quin- 
decim annos ecclesiam gloriosissime rexit cui litteras Rex Britannia; Lucius 
mittens ut Christianus efficeretur petit et imploravit. 

f See Labbe Conuc. i., 1430, corrected by Bede. ii., c. 16-18. Oak Anton. Iter 
96, 145. 


the decision to Pope Sylvester, together with a 
synodal letter, in which they say, " Would to God, 
our dear brother, you could have assisted at this 
grand spectacle ; the condemnation of the Dona- 
tists would have been still more severe, and our 
joy greater ; but you could not leave those places 
where the Apostles preside [mais vous ne pouvez 
quitter ces lieux ou les apostres president], and 
where their blood continually renders glory to 
God. And we have judged according to the an 
cient usage [selon Fancien usage], it belongs prin 
cipally to you to notify to the others, since you 
have the greatest part in the government of the 
Church [ la plus grande part dans le gouvernement 
de Feglise]. Ecct. Hist. 13, X. Ch. 14. This 
synodal letter is signed by all the bishops, includ 
ing the bishops of York, London, and Lincoln, and 
hence shows that, instead of ignorance of the 
Bishop of Rome on the part of the British Church, 
she must have known, through the document 
signed by three of her bishops at least, that that 
bishop had the chief part of the government of the 
Church ; and this by no modern concession, but 
according to ancient usage ; not by any civil or 
ecclesiastical arrangement, but by that right which 
springs from the possession of the See " where the 
Ap ost !c s preside." 

r ihe next discoverable intercourse between Eng 
land and Rome I found was in the great Council 
of Nice, 325. Among the three hundred and 
eighteen bishops assembled in this Council, St. 


Athanasius places, it is thought, the bishops of Brit 
ain. In Hist. Asia, ad Monach. n. 8, p. 360, 
T. i. Ed. 1698. Be this so or not, it is certain 
that in the second Council of Alexandria, 363, 
Britain is named among the countries who had- re 
ceived the decrees of Nice. Labbe, T. ii. col. 825. 
Now it is well known, not only that in the Council 
of Nice itself did the legates of Rome assert the 
supremacy of that See, but also that in the decrees 
of the Council such supremacy was distinctly ad 
mitted. If there can be any question of the mean 
ing of the sixth Canon from the obscurity of its 
wording, that question is settled by the under 
standing of those who lived nearest the time. 
Pope Gelasius, in the following century, seemed to 
me trustworthy authority, where he says, as al 
ready cited, " For with what reason and what con 
sistency can other sees be defended, if the ancient 
and long-existing reverence be not paid to the See 
of the most blessed Peter, the first See, by which 
the dignity of all priests has always been strength 
ened and confirmed, and to which, by the invinci 
ble and special judgment of the three hundred and 
eighteen Fathers, the highest honor was adjudged, 
as based on the declaration of our Lord, Matt. 
xvi. 18."* 

But if any thing were wanting to this authority, 
it appeared to be supplied by the great Council of 
Sardica, A. D. 347, which has ever been considered, 

* See also citation from Pope Boniftce. 


I believe, by the learned as supplementary to that 
of Nice. In this Council of Sardica, Britain, I 
found, from Athanasius,* was represented; while 
its acts emphatically recognized the primacy or 
supreme prerogatives of the See of Rome. The 
following may be seen in Canon iv. as proposed by 
Ha^sius : " If any bishop be condemned in any 
cause, and thinks the cause is good, and that a 
new trial ought to take place, . . .let us honor the 
memory of the holy Apostle Peter, and let those 
who investigated the cause write to the Roman 
bishop ; and if he judge that a new trial ought to be 
had, let it be granted, and let him appoint judges. 
But, if he judge that the cause is such that the 
proceedings should not be called in question, they 
shall be confirmed. Is this the will of all ? the 
Synod answered, It is our will. 9 f This, with other 
Canons regulating appeals, was forwarded to Pope 
Julius, in a Synodal letter, in which the Fathers 
say, " This will seem to be excellent and most 
suitable, if the priests of the Lord report to the 
head f that is, to the See of the Apostle Peter, from 
the several provinces." + 

Here, then, the proof seemed to me incontrover 
tible, that, in the year 347, the Church in Britain 
must both have known and acknowledged the au 
thority of the See of St. Peter. 

* In Apologia Cent. Arian. n. 1, Tom. i. part. I. ed. 1698. 

f Cone. Sard. can. iv. Torn. i. Sard. Cone. col. 640. 

} Floe enim optimum et valde congruentissimurn esse videbitur,si ad caput, 
id e*\, ad Petri Apostoli sedein, de shigulis quibusque proviuciis Domini refe- 
rant sacerdotes. Ep. Synd. Sard. Hard. col. cone. Tom. i. 


Daring the first quarter of the fifth century, 1 
found Pelagianism made such fearful progress in 
Britain as to require the interference of the chief 
watchman of the Church; and hence that Pope 
Celestine, in about 423, was induced, by the rep 
resentations of the deacon Palladius, to despatch 
Germanus, a bishop of Gaul, in his name to the 
British Church,* to arrest, if possible, the growing 
evil. Lupus, the Bishop of Troyes, was appointed 
to accompany him. Their mission was eminently 
successful. Yea, to use the language of another, 
"The triumph of orthodoxy was complete; and 
Germanus, before he quitted the scene of victory, 
visited the tomb of St. Alban, where he deposited 
a small box of relics that he brought with him 
from Gaul, taking in exchange a handful of dust 
from the grave, that he might place it in a new 
Church at Auxerre, which he afterwards dedicated 
in honor of the British martyr, "f 

I learned from Constantius, however, in his Life 
of Germanus, that this bishop was sent in conse 
quence of a new outbreak of the heresy a second 
time, but found very little difficulty in suppress 
ing it.J 

Here, again, early in the fifth century, we find 

* At! actinnem Palladii diaconi Papa Celestinns Germamira Antisiodo- 
rensern Episcopum vice aua, ut dettirbatis hi reticis, Britannos ad Catho- 
licam fidern dirig it. S. Prosper in chron. anno 429. In writing against Caspian 
he repeats the same ; and as he was a contemporary with Germanus, living in 
Gaul, and being afterwards secretary to St. Celestine, no better authority could 
be wished. 

f The fact taken from V. Bede, i. c. 18. 

J See also Erric and Bede^ith Usher, Brit. Ant. EccL c. xii. 


the Bishop of the Holy See exercising his authority 
in Britain, through a vicar, who is received there 
with open arms, and listened to with all the respect 
suitable to his high commission. No one, there 
fore, it seemed to me, could justly affirm that, in 
the fifth century, the Church in Britain was " a 
stranger either to the Bishop of Rome or his au 

About the middle of this century, it is well 
known that the Romans were compelled to with 
draw their arms ; and the Christians were driven 
back into bordering islands or mountain fastnesses 
before the invading Saxons. Thus cut off from 
communication with the other portions of the 
Catholic Church, it struck me as reasonable that 
they would become lax in their discipline, and fall 
a prey, perhaps, to the prevailing heresies partic 
ularly as the heresies seem, after the mission of 
Germanus, to have extended themselves in the 
mountains of Wales. Hence I was not surprised 
to find that the British historian, Gildas, writing 
about 550, represented the Christians as having 
become, in his time, sadly deteriorated both in faith 
and morals. Still he gave them credit generally, 
as I perceived, for orthodoxy in respect to the 
doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation of our 
Lord, and future rewards and punishments ; and 
also stated that, among other Catholic truths and 
usages, they looked upon St. Peter as the Prince 
of the Apostles, and the source of all priestly au 
thority in the Church. 


Thus far, therefore, the accumulative force of 
the testimony is utterly against the assertion of Mr. 
Blackstone. But there is one more item. 

On looking further into the Epitome of the V. 
Bede, I discovered the following record : " In the 
year 430, the Scots having believed in Christ, Pal- 
ladius was sent to them by Pope Ccclestine, as their 
first bishop."* 

Here again was an act, which, to my mind, 
implied at least that, in the year of our Lord 430, 
the Christians in Britain were under the supervision 
of the Holy See, and hence must have known and 
recognized its authority. 

These facts served with me a double purpose : 
1st, to show with what caution we should receive 
the statements of the best Protestant authority in 
England, when they relate to the jurisdiction or 
Primacy of the See of St. Peter ; and, 2dly, to 
enable me to see the little value which should be 
put upon the opposition that Augustine met with 
from the Welsh bishops and monks, in his efforts 
to plant Christianity among our Saxon forefathers. 
For if these bishops and monks, as it is pretended, 
knew nothing of the prerogatives of the Holy See, 

* Anno 430, Palladium ad Scotas in Christum, credentes a Ccelestin. Papa 
primus mittitur Episcopus. V. Bcde, epitome. 

Though the documents are few, and the proofs somewhat inferential, which 
show that the Church in Britain acknowledged the supremacy of the Holy See, 
still both seemed to me sufficient, when taken with the unquestionable fact 
that Britain was in full communion with the Catholic Church, and that this 
Church, at the period to which we allude, held it necessary for every Church 
to be in submission to the See of St. Peter as the centre of Divine unity and 
the source of Apostolic power. 


it was clear to my mind that their want of knowl 
edge must have been owing to their general igno 
rance ; to their having so long been cut off, by the 
wars of the Saxons, from all communication with 
other Christians, as to have lost sight of their real 
privileges and duty as members of the one body of 
Christ. But it struck me that perhaps the more 
natural solution of the difficulty might be found in 
a mistake on our part as to the real nature of their 
opposition to Augustine an opposition growing, 
not so much out of prejudice to his religious views, 
as out of dislike to his apparent friendship with 
their Saxon oppressors.* Be this as it may, I 

* A certain document, found in Wiikin s and Spelman s Councils, purport 
ing to have been the answer of Dinoth to Augustine, is pleaded, as indicating, 
on the part of the Church of the Britons, an ignorance of the jurisdiction of 
Rome. In answer let it be observed, that this document (1) bears intrinsic 
marks of spuriousness. It professes to have been written soon after the Saxon 
invasion, and by a people who detested the Saxon race, and yet it contains two 
Sazon words, helpio and cleimio, which, under the circumstances, is hardly con 
sistent with its genuineness. (2) It speaks of the Arch-episcopal See as then 
being at Kacrlin on Uske, when by reference to the Antiquities of the Church of 
Britain, by Archbishop Usher, chap. v. p. 64-65, I found that this See had ac_ 
tually been transferred, fifty years before the time of Augustine, to Meneviam, 
or the present St. David s. 

Besides, the document I found was not only not mentioned by the V. Bede, 
but seemed to me not reconcilable with the account which he gives, Book ii., 
ch, 2, of the interview between St. Augustine and the Welsh Bishops. And 
finally, the matter of the document could not, except on the ground of great 
ignorance or culpable blindness, be reconciled with what I knew, from the 
above testimonies, to be both tile knowledge and submission of the early British 
Church to the See of Rome. 

I cannot dismiss this point without remarking upon the strange inconsisten 
cy of Protestant writers, as it seemed to me, in respect to what they call the 
introduction of Popery into England. When they are seeking testimony against 
the Supremacy of the Holy See, they cite Gregory the Great as rejecting that 
supremacy, on the ground of its being anti-Christian, &c. But when they are 
endeavoring to account for its introduction into England, they ascribe it, 1 
found, to the assumption of jurisdiction over England by this very Pope Greg 
ory, through his missionary, Augustine. 


could not shut from my mind the truth, made so 
clear by the documents above cited, that the 
Church in England did not, during that early 
period of the faith, form an exception to the uni 
versal recognition of the primacy of St. Peter. 
And, besides, after an attentive examination of the 
various outbreaks in England, under the domina 
tion of the Catholic rule, before the Reformation, I 
could see no evidence that, at any time, the Church 
was dissatisfied with the existing religion ; but only 
that the secular power, becoming jealous of the in 
fluence of the Church, acting in her Catholic, 
rather than in a national, capacity, endeavored, by 
statutes of pramunire, and at times by violent per- 

In my remarks above on the spurious document, I submitted what I said in 
regard to the two words, kelpio and cleimio, to an eminent Welsh scholar, who 
at first concurred, but subsequently sent me the following correction : 

" In the supposed document of Dinoth, it was a mistake to call claimio, 
or cleimio, (as it is written,) a Saxon word, as it is obviously from the Latin 

" But this fact renders the document still more suspicious, as far as Philol 
ogy is concerned. 

" Claimio could not be derived from the early intercourse of the Britons 
with their Roman conquerors. 

" (1) Because the tense of the word is not its classical sense, but a significa 
tion which it obtained in later jurisprudence, and is current in the Norman 
law language. 

" Because it is a form contrary to the genius of the Welsh language ; and, in 
fact, there exists in Welsh the identical word clamarc, with its proper .signifi 
cation, and in the form which the Britons gave to similar derivatives: they 
changed the initial d into their //, or aspirated I. 


" It seems, therefore, to me clear that the word cluimio, in the sense and 
in the form in which it appears in the supposed answer of Dinoth, was de 
rived from our English language after the Normans had, especially in the 
Courts of Law, given us so many Gallicanizcd Latin \vun!s. The document, 
therefore, i.-s later than the time in which such Norman words had (1) beconia 
current hi England, and (2) communicated to our Welsh neighbors." 


secution, to separate her from the centre of Catho 
lic unity. But never till the reign of Henry VIII. 
did it seem to me to have succeeded in effectually 
sundering the tie which bound her to that source 
of divine authority and to that standard of infal 
lible truth, 

By the above incontrovertible evidence, there 
fore, I was brought to this conviction, that that 
divine, visible, and ever-living headship of the 
" One, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church,* mili 
tant, which, from the very nature, constitution, and 
office of that Church seemed to me so necessary, 
was actually provided by our Lord in the appoint 
ment of St. Peter to that headship, St. Matt. 
xvi. 18-; St. John xxi. 1517, as understood and 
acted upon in her submission to the See of St. 
Peter at Rome, by "the one, holy, Catholic, and 
apostolic Church," to the present day; and that, 
to have vital evangelical union with Christ, cer 
tainly in the faithfulness of charity and good hope 
of salvation, it is by God s institution made essen 
tial that each and every member of Christ s body 
be in visible and real fellowship with that See. 
And hence that no one, not maintaining such fel 
lowship, can have authority to exercise the office, 
either of bishop, priest, or deacon, in the Church 
of God. And, therefore, the inevitable conclusion 
that the act of Henry VIII., perpetuated by Eliza 
beth and her Parliament, and shared in by the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, 
was an act of fatal schism annulling all authority 


to exercise the priestly functions in God s Church, 
arid endangering the salvation of the souls em 
braced within its scope.* 

To this point, then, dear brethren and friends, 
after long and painful examination, after laboring 
and suffering under the misgivings of conscience for 
years, after various and humiliating endeavors to 
reconcile that conscience to my distrusted Protes 
tant position, have I come at length through the 
marvellous grace of God. In the progress of my 
mind to its present happy state, it has passed 

* The object of my work did not lead me necessarily to speak of the posi 
tion of the present Greek Church. 

It will be perceived, however, that a large part of the Fathers which I have 
cited to bear witness to the Supremacy of the See of St. Peter belonged to the 
early Greek Church, and hence go to convict the modern Greek Church of 
schism in her present melancholy separation from Rome. But the recent pub 
lication of the work of Cardinal Mains, already alluded to, has enabled me to 
adduce another later, and, if possible, more important, Greek authority. It ig 
that of St. Niceptiurus, Patriarch of Constantinople. He is writing on the Sec 
ond Council uf JWce, and gives the following testimony: " Indeed, this synod 
is of the very highest authority, and capable of giving the faith in all its ful 
ness; because it is (ecumenical, and wholly unfettered in its action, and above 
the reach of calumny arid reproach, and tinged with no spurious doctrine, and 
in all respects perfect. For it was not only conducted equitably, but in the 
highest sense and degree according to law. For, as required by the divine de 
crees anciently set forth, the chief part of the authority which swayed and pre 
sided over its councils, proceeded from that Western Headship (of the Church), 
ancient Rome. Without which no dogma, that had been discussed in the 
Church or had the sanction of hierarchical usage, can ever be considered 
proved or binding in practice ; because this sacerdotal jurisdiction stands pre 
eminent, both by original constitution and by the elevation or dignity it haa 
acquired from two chief Apostles." * S. JVicep/i. Patriarch. Conntpl. Tom. V. p. 
174. Ed. Card. Jllaio. 

* Etenim celebrata fuit feqnissime et in primis legitime: nam secundnm 
edita antiquitus Divina decreta praeminebat in ea praaidebat que ez occidentals 
fa*ti<rit>, id est, ti vetere Roma, pars tion modica: sine qiiibiin( Romania) iiHiun 
dogma, quod in ecclesia ventilatum decretis canonicis et sacerdotali consuetu- 
dine fuit antea ratum ; nunqnam tamen probatum habebitur, neque in praxim 
deducetur; qnia ill! sacerdotii principaturn sortiti sunt. eamque dignitatem a 
duttras ctfiyphKis Apssttflis traditam habent. 


through the following stages of manifest truth : 
1. I have seen, with a clearness which I cannot 
well express, that " the friendship of the world is 
at enmity with God." That fi w r e cannot serve two 
masters" cannot secure the favor of two utterly 
and mutually opposed worlds. . That every dic 
tate of reason echoes the voice of God " what can 
it profit a man to gain the w r hole world and lose 
his own soul ? " 3. That, to save the soul, self-will 
must be renounced, and God s will be submissively 
followed. 4. That the facts that God has re 
vealed His will that he commands us to know 
His will that he promises to " lead us to all 
truth " in respect to it all concur with the yearn 
ings of our hearts to justify the expectation of 
certainty in faith. 5. That, to secure such cer 
tainty, Christ leads us out of ourselves and a\vay 
from every mere human aid, and invites us to 
6 take His yoke and learn of Him ; " to look, through 
His commissioned priesthood, to Himself, as our 
ever-living, ever-present, ever-unfailing teacher 
and guide. 6 . That, while professedly having a 
part in that priesthood, and so appearing as Christ s 
representative in teaching His infallible will, I felt 
in my conscience wholly unable to tell with cer 
tainty, and in many vital particulars, what that 
will is. 7. That, when I turned for relief to my 
brethren associated with me in the Episcopate, 
(and here let me affectionately and earnestly appeal 
to them for the truth of my convictions,) I found 
that the uncertainty had increased almost in a 


direct ratio with the increase of numbers, till con 
fusion, and discord, and mutual strife were the 
only answers that met the anxious sinner as he 
came to inquire, " What must I do to be saved ? " 
8. That such a state of things so unfriendly to 
truth so utterly repugnant to the declared pur 
poses of Christ s priesthood so absolutely submis 
sive of the unity and Catholicity of His Church 
so derogatory to His honor, and so fatal to His 
promise, could not possibly proceed from His own 
institution. And hence, 9. That the cause of this 
doubt and misery, attendant upon the working of 
the Anglican Communion and her American daugh 
ter, must be sought in that fatal act which separated 
her from a divinely constituted spiritual head, the 
representative of Christ, and placed her professedly 
under the supreme guidance of a temporal sover 
eign, but, in reality, under the direction of each 
individual judgment. 10. And finally, that that 
Church, which is the body of Christ, and which, as 
such, we are all commanded by him to " hear," is 
manifestly that "one Catholic and apostolic Church" 
which, at first founded by Him on the "rock," 
St. Peter, has ever since enjoyed His own presence, 
as the centre of unity and source of apostolic power 
in the See of that prince of the apostles. And 
that this Church, made manifest by her divine 
foundation and her no less divine preservation, 
yea, by her obvious principle of divine life and 
cohesion and assimilation,* rewards every sincere 

* Assimilation, I mean, not of doctrine, but of minds, and labws, and holy 
ympfefhib f. 


effort to investigate her claims by new proofs of 
her divinity by making it more clear, the more 
closely her history is examined, that she has 
always, every where, and by all her sons, held and 
taught the < one faith, once for all delivered to the 
saints." That what has been charged upon her as 
an addition to that faith is resolvable either into 
necessary and lawful changes in her discipline and 
ceremonial, into the unauthorized extravagances 
of overwrought individual minds, or the miscon 
ceptions, exaggerations, and misstatements of in 
terested opponents. That, in short, the Fathers 
of the first five centuries taught as distinctly, 
though not as formally as did the Fathers of the 
Council of Trent, the various dogmas set forth 
by that Council as necessary to the faith and prac 
tice of the Christian man. And hence, that the 
Gospel standard of faith, and the Gospel rule of 
obedience, are to be found only within her pale ; 
particularly as she alone professes to have, through 
the presence of Christ, that infallibility which is 
essential to such a standard, and in her members 
that childlike submission without which such a 
rule would be useless " Except ye be converted, 
and become as little children, ye cannot enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." 

Furthermore, dear brethren and friends, I came 
to these convictions, as I have written this letter, 
under the operations of my own mind.* The cir- 

* Here I feel it to be my duty, from the circumstances in which I am placed, 
to declare distinctly and positively that each and every part of this letter was 


cnmstances in which I had just been placed by the 
difficulties in my diocese forced me to keep my 
troubles of mind much tor myself. Often my op 
pressed spirit yearned for some confidential ear into 
which to pour out its griefs ; but, warned by sad 
experience, I hesitated to trust a distinct knowl 
edge of these griefs beyond my own breast. 

The last year and a half of my episcopate was, 
I can truly say, the most trying, the most pain 
ful, period of my life ; although one of apparent 
quietness, official success, and restored confidence. 
After the immediate effects of my convention in 
the spring of 1851 (which, as you will remem 
ber, resulted in a reconciliation between myself and 
the disaffected part of my diocese) had passed off, 
and my mind, long pressed down by a weight of 
sore trial, had time to react, it came up at once, 
and to my own surprise, to its former level of 
Catholic belief: indeed, it was like waking from 
a pleasant dream to a frightful reality. I had 
actually flattered myself into the belief that my 
doubts had left me, and that I could henceforward 
act with a quiet conscience on Protestant ground. 
But, on recovering from the stupefaction of over 
much sorrow, I found myself fearfully deceived ; 
found that what I had taken for permanent relief 
of mind was only the momentary insensibility of 

written, except where I have given credit, without the dictation, suggestion, or 
help of any one but God ; and that the books I consulted in writing it were the 
books I had read while a Protestant, except in the instances of Passaglia s 
Commentary, Oow n Rituale Gracorum, <$<;., Perrone s Pralcctiones, 4 c., and 
Card, Maius s Book of hitherto unpublished Fathers, 


opiates or exhaustion. When I came again to my 
self, however, I was visited with reflections which 
no man need envy. i"he concessions I had made, 
in good faith at the time, for the peace of the 
Church, and, as I had falsely supposed, for my own 
peace, rose up before me as so many concessions, 
and cowardly ones too, to the god of this world. 
So that I can say with the deepest truth that the 
friendliness which greeted me 011 my subsequent 
visitation through my diocese was most unwelcome 
to my heart. Every kind word of those who had 
spoken against the truth seemed a rebuke to me, 
every warm shake of the hand to fall like ice upon 
my soul. I felt that I had shrunk publicly from 
the consequences of that truth which God had 
taught me felt that I had denied that blessed 
Master who had graciously revealed Himself to me. 
But blessed be His name for that grace which 
moved me to " weep bitterly." Persecution for 
Christ s sake would then have been balm to my 
wounded conscience. And nothing, I think, but 
the precarious state of one whom I had vowed to 
" keep in sickness as well as health " prevented an 
earlier avowal of my disquietude and an earlier 
abandonment of my diocese. 

For all this suffering, however, God forbid that 
I should blame any one but myself. Others may 
have acted according to their conscientious convic 
tions ; I resisted mine, and on grounds that would 
not bear the test of calm reflection, and how much 


less the searching light of Eternity ! I ought to 
have known myself better ; ought to have known 
the way of God s grace and truth better. Per 
haps, however, and here I try to comfort myself, 
there may be in all this a token of Divine mercy > 
for it may have prepared me to bear the more 
patiently the heavy cross which was to be laid upon 
me, to drink the more readily of that bitter chalice 
which was put into my hand. For I can now say, 
with a depth of truth which no one but a Catholic 
can understand, " The Lord is my light and my 
salvation ; whom, then, shall I fear ? The LORD 
is the strength of life ; of whom, then, shall I be 
afraid ? " And further, I can now suffer, as a 
Catholic alone can comprehend, and count it all 
joy, if it only be for Christ and heaven. 

And now, dear brethren, I have only to add, 
take warning by my sufferings ; take courage by 
my blessings ; take example from Him " who en 
dured the cross, despising the shame, and is set 
down at the right hand of God." The scenes of 
earth will soon be past, and we shall then feel the 
true force of our Lord s words, " He that forsaketh 
not all that he hath cannot be rny disciple." 

I have loved you well ; I have labored for vou 
earnestly ; and now I feel it to be a privilege, too 
great for human tongue to express, to be able each 
day to plead in your behalf the sacrifice of a pres 
ent God and Savior ; yea, to plead that He may 
ere long, through the riches of His own mercy and 


the power of His condescending love, make you 
partakers of the new and unutterable joy which I 
now feel, when I declare before God that " I BE 
Faithfully and affectionately, 

Your Friend and Servant, 






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